Monday, March 28, 2011

Viburnum and New Grass

With the world spinning very quickly these days, it is more important than ever to seek some harmonic softeners in some aspect of daily life. The escalation of current technology has become mind-boggling when one considers that only 100 years ago the main duty of School Boards in rural Oklahoma was to provide hay for the children’s horses and fire wood for the stoves. Now more than ever the peaceful expanse of the garden is not only desirable, but a necessary means to keep one grounded. Whether you are six or sixty, there is no pastime more joyful than playing in the dirt so this spring plan on some serious down-time in the garden.

The heat of last week pushed the garden headlong into spring, with almost all of the early bloomers making a show. With usual weather, the flowering arrives in staggered waves rather than all at once. Thankfully the chill will slow it down a bit so once it begins to warm again we may go outside to enjoy our early spring.

Nature endowed the earliest spring bloomers with the sweetest scents and the Viburnum is no exception. Of course we have the Asians to thank for the sweet spicy scent; our native Viburnum do not possess the spellbinding aroma. A member of the Honeysuckle family, Viburnum are seen all across North America, in Europe and all of Asia, making them a naturalized global sensation. And their early arrival makes them one of the first seasonal feasts for the bees.

The Viburnum is a small tree with easy growing habits that has been a garden necessity since the early 1900’s. The Korean Spice has lovely white or pink flower clusters which appear before all of the dark and heavily ribbed leaves have matured. Their scent is sweetly enchanting, almost delicious, as it wafts through the garden carried by the breezes. And their show does not end after flowering; the flowers become berries prized by birds and the foliage turns a lovely dusty red in the fall.

Summer Snowflake(above)is another fantastic Viburnum. Although not as fragrant as the Korean Spice, it blooms several weeks later and has the most lovely drifting layers... as though it is wearing white lace petticoats peeking from under a deep green dress. Both species are spectacular additions to the garden and promise years of carefree beauty.

The early grasses have arrived as well and the tender lush carpet is calling for bare feet to ‘feel’ the first sign of spring. If you do not have a baby of your own, borrow one and be the first to remove booties and let tiny feet feel grass for the first time. Crinkling toes gingerly curling, opening and closing, surprised and curious… first garden experiences are a great way to giggle!

Julia loves the grass~


  1. Catherine it sounds like you are enjoying these 'firsts' as much as Julia. I agree there is nothing better than time spent in the garden for curing what ails ya.

  2. I am having a ball with Julia... nothing like a kid to make you happy. And her seven uncles are posively ga-ga about her... they rush up to the house when I'm keeping her. Too cute! Aren't we glad winter is over Kat! Surely seemed like a long one!

  3. Catherine,
    Your writing is so descriptive, I can smell those flowers. I used to have them in pink on my farm in upstate NY and the scent was intoxicating...especially at night, as I recall.
    I really love how you live and thank you for sharing with us in such a meliflurious (sp) way.
    We don't have wonderful grass out here in S. Ca., but I certainly would want to swish my toes barefooted through yours. The sand just doesn't feel the same.

  4. Thanks Bonnie... if you are ever on your way South again, stop by and we'll go barefoot!