A Highly Recommended Viburnum

Some gardeners might think that all viburnums are great big shrubs and they are intimidated by their size.

Size, and thinking that most viburnums are great big shrubs, is not be a good reason to not have at least one good viburnum in any garden.

Here's a viburnum that stays smaller, maybe four feet tall and four feet wide. It's the Korean Spice Viburnum, Viburnum carlesii.

It has...

Pink buds that bloom white in the spring, with fragrance!

Good summer foliage.

Great fall foliage color.

On some years, a few berries to feed the birds

And it is hardy in zones 5 - 8, and maybe would work in zone 4b.

I recommend everyone make room for one of these shrubs somewhere in their garden. I have two, this one in front, and one in the back by my vegetable garden. I'm especially happy with how this one in particular came back so spectacularly after some late spring cold weather nipped most of its flower buds.

And just around the corner to the left, see all that orange/yellow/red foliage? That's Dwarf Fothergilla, Fothergilla gardenii.

Most of the year, even when in flower, these two shrubs don't clash quite like they are clashing right now. But it's late fall, and I'll take whatever color I can get.

I know some gardeners try to plan their flower beds so that the flowers aren't all clashing with each other, but does anyone plan their plantings so that the fall foliage doesn't clash?

I obviously don't.


  1. this is one bush i would LOVE to be able to grow here. i love using it in cut flower arrangements and the added bonus of the fall colors, not to mention bird friendly. i loved your last post asking people to choose. i do love lilac because of childhood memories of the fragrence but overall i think viburnum is the winner.

  2. I haven't been crazy enough to try to grow a lilac here, but have planted a couple of viburnums that were recommended. So far one looks dead and the other has barely grown in 2 years. I wish a fragrant Korean spice viburnum could survive in my yard, Carol!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. You think pink and orange clash? (grin). I learned to love it when the poppies bloom in the spring!

  4. I don't really care if my plants clash either. I just like plants.
    I think this viburnum is beautiful.
    I love the foliage and fragrance too, what a bonus.

  5. So you're saying pink/purple and orange/red clash? Uh oh.... I'm definitely in trouble! Thanks for the viburnum recommendation!
    ~Angela :-)

  6. I don't think they clash either, especially not when they're foliage, and especially not in the fall. They are complementary hot colors to me.

  7. Clashing color is a matter of the Eye of the beholder. I don't see any clashing in your garden.

    I have noticed that Mother Nature often doesn't follow the norm in color design and Mother is never wrong.

  8. The Korean Spice Viburnum is my fav also. So why don't I have 1?

  9. Love the orange and maroon together, especially fall foliage. The red of dogwoods right now nest to fothergilla is stunning. I used to care about colors clashing when I was younger, but now love all color all the time. Christopher Lloyd was a champion of all colors together, and he was right IMHO

  10. I have 3 Carlesii Viburnums that form a hedge along my fence, they are 6-7 feet tall?? Sometimes the catalogs are wrong. Luckily, there is plenty of room for them in the spot that I have them, and they hide a not-so-nice neighbor.

  11. All... Thank you all for the comments and thoughts on clashing and this particular viburnum. I had individual responses for all of you written up but I must have goofed up publishing them and I don't have the energy to redo them!

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  12. Obviously, there are a lot of opinions about what clashes and what does not. Personally, I don't think your shrubs clash in the least, they make a beautiful contrast with each other, each setting the other off.

    Once when I was a very young lady, I loved to wear a magenta sweater with an orange jumper. I loved the way it looked, even though everyone around me told me those colors did not go together. One day, I was admiring my echinacea flower, and observed to myself that God and Nature felt that orange and magenta went together, all those people were wrong.!

  13. Thanks for sharing about this lovely shrub...I have a area where I would like to plant some.


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