The Viburnums consist of about 150 species and a number of cultivars and hybrids. They are a very useful group of shrubs for the garden. They are mainly grown for their flowers, but many have good foliage, some being evergreen and others taking on autumn tints. Some have colourful fruit in the autumn.
The flowers are individually small but held in clusters. They are either pink or white. Some flower throughout winter which is very useful, especially as some of these are very fragrant. Other fragrant ones flower in spring, producing a very evocative sweet scent.
Although the scent will travel some distance on a warm day, it is always worth planting them near a path or a sitting place where the scent can be easily appreciated.
There are a few that have sterile flowers as well as fertile ones, much in the same way as hydrangeas. In the case of V. plicatum, these are carried in wonderful horizontal tiers.
Viburnums are very accommodating and will grow in most soils and in either sun or shade. Pruning is relatively straightforward and most can be pruned hard if necessary.