Requiem for Two Viburnums

Let us pause to remember the snowball bush, Viburnum opulus ‘Sterile’, for its years of service in my garden.

It provided shelter for birds and blooms for me.  It anchored one corner of the vegetable garden, blocking the view of the compost piles.

It hid more than one weed under its branches, and no doubt a fair number of rabbits sought refuge under its wide boughs.

It taught me to love large shrubs and reminded me always of my grandmothers, who had big snowball bushes in their gardens.

It just grew and flowered and sat in the corner mind its own business.

Then last summer it caught fire blight from two nearby dwarf apple trees. I was shocked. I didn't know Viburnums were susceptible to fire blight. But they are, and there seemed to be quite a few branches infected on the snowball bush.

Today, a tree removal crew came and removed the snowball bush and another viburnum, the way faring viburnum, Viburnum lantana, which anchored the other corner of the vegetable garden.  It, too, was large and past its prime.

The drought two summers ago was not kind to it, and many of its branches had died back.

I will miss them both.

But I won't let the openings they created go unplanted.

I have plans...


  1. Sad,but this will give you a chance to grow something new!

  2. This is the perfect time of year for this kind of work. You have plenty of time to decide what you want to go in their places. I also didn't know that Viburnums could get fire blight. UGH. I have an apple tree that is about dead. It will be removed soon. I hope my viburnums don't get sick too.

  3. A lovely tribute, Carol. I'm sure you were sorry to see them go, but how exciting to get to choose something new to plant in their place!

  4. What a great way to pay respects to plants with enough sentimental value to create memories but not enough to stifle opportunities and inspiration.

  5. You are always showing us the way - losses make way for something new. And it doesn't look like it took you long to come up with a new plan. Can't wait for the reveal.


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