The Weight of Flowers and Springtime Activities

This giant shrub can barely hold up its branches under the weight of the ginormous flowers that are its lot to bear.

Just look at it, this Snowball Bush, Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’. Look at those lower branches especially, how they bend down under the weight of the heavy, wet flowers.

And these flowers have no purpose other than to be pretty for a few weeks in the spring. They have no scent and don't even produce seed.

Do you ever feel like this Snowball Bush, that you can hardly bear the weight of all the work you have to do in the garden, all the planting and weeding and pruning and mulching and mowing and deadheading that you have to do each spring?

If you do, I have good news for you. These branches never break under the weight of the flowers. Once the flowers fade, the branches return to normal and you would never know they bore such weight for a few weeks in the spring.

You'll do the same once this initial spring rush is past, whether or not everything gets done in the garden. You'll return to normal, too, and be no worse off for all the work you did.

But unlike these flowers which have nothing to show for all their efforts once they have bloomed, you will have something to show for your efforts... a beautiful garden.

So relax and enjoy the spring work in the garden. Remember, all winter we have been dreaming of these days of spring, when we can garden outside again.

All winter, we have been dreaming of flowers like these.
This spring, our dreams come true.


  1. Hi Carol, that is quite a snowball specimen. Several shrubs here have more flowers than usual and weigh down heavily when it rains, it is worrisome, especially the decidous azaleas and their huge blooms. So far no branches have broken, so it is like you so sagely say, they are strong. And like you say about the daunting work in the garden, it is what we wished for all winter. Not only a rock star, a wise woman!

  2. Hi Carol - I will remind myself I'm a snowball bush when I am standing in the garden wondering what to do first. I am actually waiting for it to cool down abit before I venture out again

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  4. Having spent all week laboring to rework my back gardens, despairing of getting it all done to my satisfaction, and being overwhelmed by the prospect of all that still needs to be done in the front, I've been feeling very much like your gorgeous viburnum. I needed this reminder that I can and will get through the hard work to a place of beauty, even if it already feels like summer here on my corner of Katy!

  5. They make beautiful cut flowers for their short time. Yours is lovely this year.~~Dee

  6. HI Carol, What a inspiring post. We as gardeners do have quite a reward for all our hard work.

  7. What a lovely snowball bush! Now I'm missing mine from my old garden. It held onto the dried flowers all summer though too. I left them there too, I think they add some interest to the garden.

  8. Carol, what absolute perfect timing with this post. Your shrub looks exactly like I feel right now.

    Thanks for coming up with this idea, now I will think of your lovely viburnum when my arms are falling off.

  9. I'm sitting here with aching feet, knees, and a stiff back wondering how I'm going to muster the energy to get up and go to bed, nevermind get out there again tomorrow. I know I'll feel better tomorrow, but man 8 hours of manual labor kicked my ass.

  10. Carol,

    That is a great metaphor...I love it!


  11. Carol, this is such a timely post!
    I can relate to your viburnum. It's a busy time, but I haven't forgotten to enjoy it.

    It's such a pleasure working in other people's gardens. Many of the gardens I've been working in these past several weeks have been so lovely, and so peaceful. It's really neat to be able to enjoy such a variety of different gardens in such an up-close and personal way.

  12. The bush is just lovely right now. Sometimes just being pretty is enough. Thanks for the great inspiration.

  13. It's such a reliable old friend isn't it? It's beauty get's better as the years go on. It's wisdom continues to grow. Looks like it loves you just as much as you love it. I can relate to that.

  14. This has been the best year for flowering shrubs and trees! I just wish that the rain would stop so that I could get in the garden! And now the weatherman is saying that there is still a possibility of frost! Didn't anybody tell them that it is Spring and we don't want anymore frost!

  15. This bush is a dream come true. It makes me anxious for my little snowball bush to grow up so it can be as big and pretty.

  16. All, thank you for all the kind comments... I hope you do draw some inspiration from the snowball push, bravely trying to hold up under the weight of all those flowers!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  17. "Do you ever feel like this Snowball Bush, that you can hardly bear the weight of all the work you have to do in the garden?"

    Not at the moment, but I do feel that way about getting caught up on blog reading when I've been away for a few days, as I have been. Jeepers, I see you have 5 posts that I've missed, Carol. I'll try to catch up! :-)


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