Viburnum davidii: a versatile evergreen shrub, happy to grow in shade
Viburnum davidii is a rather less ‘showy’ plant than many of the popular Viburnum family, but it is a fantastically versatile shrub that merits a place in every garden. It is particularly useful in late autumn and winter, offering evergreen cheer whilst so much of the rest of our gardens is dormant. It's also happy to grow in shade, making it particularly useful for those trickier parts of our gardens.
A compact evergreen shrub, V. davidii has large oval-shaped leaves. Deep green in colour and highly textured, this foliage offers excellent contrast to many other shrubs. Typically growing to heights of 1-1.5m, V. davidii will gently spread to provide extremely useful ground cover. Clusters of small white flowers appear in mid-spring, and are quickly followed by long-lasting blue-black berries (providing there are male and female plants). Seemingly unfancied by many garden birds, these berries tend to remain on the plant for many months, providing added interest and flashes of colour.
The king of versatility, V. davidii will happily grow in pretty much any condition. Light soils, heavy soils, north-facing, east-facing, south-facing, west-facing, sheltered or exposed, it will perform for us in almost any garden. It doesn’t like water-logged ground (who does?!?), but can dutifully cope with full sun, partial shade and even heavy shade.
From a garden designer’s point of view, V. davidii is one of my favourite ‘go to’ plants. I find it particularly useful as a mid-height ground cover plant for shaded or semi-shaded parts of a garden, either as single specimen plants or in ‘confident’ drifts or groups. I also like to use it for textural contrast- the elliptical leaves look wonderful alongside dogwoods, hollies, or Mahonias.
So, when our gardens are looking rather tired and empty, and when spring still seems an awful long way off, let’s celebrate evergreen stars like Viburnum davidii. I certainly wouldn’t want to be without it in my winter garden.
Tythorne Garden Design provides professional fixed-fee garden design solutions for customers in Grantham, Stamford, Newark and surrounding areas. Let's see how we can help you to enjoy your garden more. Call us on 07900 224 239 or 01529 455 355.