December is often a dull dank month, usually enlivened in Denmark at least with lots of candles and hygge. The temptation to go into the garden is not very high mostly, but the view from the kitchen window is considerably cheered by this beautiful Viburnum x bodnantense.
I was really happy to discover we had one of these in the garden when we moved in -if we hadn’t, I would have planted one. They are rather shrubby, dense and nondescript in Ssmmer, though their densely packed branched do provide good cover for garden birds. However in winter, especially in mild spells like the one we have had recently, they are covered in these beautiful pale pink flowers.
I first came across the tree in the garden of our first house together, where my husband spent a good deal of time and sweat thoroughly renovating three viburnum trees. We didn’t really know what they were then but happily the good old RHS produced a very nice guide to the all different varieties at some point.
I was rather surprised to discover that this particular type is actually a rather recent introduction, bred by crossing two different species of viburnum. The name refers to the famous Bodnant gardens in Wales where it was produced.
The branches of flowers are a mainstay of our indoor cut flowers in Winter. They have a pleasing minimalist, Japanese style which I really like. They last about a week in a vase and this variety at least has little scent (though I recall our old ones having a very heavy scent like most winter flowering shrubs). I always think that the freshly cut wood smells of sesame oil.
I am trying to be a little more mindful these days, it has been a busy and difficult year for a number of reasons, and there is pretty god evidence that focusing on the here and now and taking pleasure in your surroundings is very good for both de-stressing and for your mental health in general. I think writing this blog is a really great way to focus on doing exactly that so expect a few more of these small posts on the simple pleasures in life.
Quite apart from that we also pay a great deal of tax for the privilege of a garden in Copenhagen and it makes sense to enjoy it as much as possible, not just in summer! So this morning it is time for a good home made caffe latte and some time contemplating the shrubs before work…