Yesterday we planted new shrubs in the front garden. The weather was dismal with light drizzle and mist hanging all around. We were entertained by the calls of winter migrants passing overhead. It sounded as if large flocks of Redwings, Mistle Thrush and Fieldfares were passing overhead as we could hear regularly the mechanical “chick chuck” call of the Fieldfares and the higher pitched call of their smaller relative the Redwing. The cloud was so low though we only saw a few low-fliers, those with vertigo presumably.
The darkness lasted all day and daylight never seemed to happen. I took photos of the new acquisitions but the light was so poor the results were terrible, so today a bright sunny day I tried again. The low autumn rays of the sun made photography much more interesting.
The bed already has a trio of white-stemmed birches and a Sorbus vilmorinii and some established shrubs such as Sambucus “Black Lace”, Forest Pansy and a gleditzia. As these grow we hope the new shrubs will act as an understorey. We chose shrubs with interesting berries or coloured foliage or stems.
So for berries we selected Viburnum davidii and Hypericum “Magical Beauty” with their pearl-like berries in gloss black and peachy pink respectively.
Two shrubs we bought should produce berries but the specimens we found were devoid of them. The first of these, another Viburnum selected for its berries and the colour of its foliage in autumn was Viburnum nudum “Pink Beauty”. It displays creamy-white flowers in summer followed by pink fruit which matures to purplish-black which should contrast beautifully with its deep red autumn foliage display. The second was a shrub we have previously not grown, Itea virginica but we were tempted by the variety “Little Henry” with its deep purple autumn foliage. We can now look forward to the scent of its white drooping spires of white flowers in the summer.
The final two shubs are colour coordinated but we didn’t realise this until we put them together in the trolley. The red and orange flowers of Mahonia nitida “Cabaret” match perfectly the stems of Cornus sericea “Cardinal”.