Gardening Magazine

Viburnum Plicatum ‘Mariesii’

By David Marsden @anxiousgardener

I had long lusted after Viburnum plicatum ‘Mariesii’ (lusted might be too strong a word).  I had seen them in parks and open gardens but as VPM is a large shrub – and I only had a little garden – I bided my time.   Then, within months of starting work at the Priory, and with all that space to play in, I finally seized my chance.

viburnum plicatum mariesii

I bought a small, twelve inch plant in 2009 and dug a hole in the lawn.  I can’t find a photo of ‘my’ viburnum prior to the above in May 2012 but after three years, it had tripled in size.

viburnum plicatum mariesii (6)

A year later and it was noticeably larger and gaining height as well as width.

viburnum plicatum mariesii (2)

By last year (its fifth),

viburnum plicatum mariesii (7)

it was clearly visible from a distance.

viburnum plicatum mariesii (3)

And now in May 2015 it is looking rather stately and making quite an impact.

viburnum plicatum mariesii (4)

It is a beautiful shrub, with tiered, layered branches that suggest its common name – the wedding cake bush.  After it has finished flowering, I will carefully prune a few branches to enhance the shape.  I’ll also cut a bigger planting square – the mower sometimes snaps off lower branches.

viburnum plicatum mariesii (5)

It might eventually reach three metres in height and four wide but not for another ten years or so.  I’ve enjoyed its slow-ish growth, development and increasing presence in the garden.  Take your time, Mariesii – I’m in no hurry.


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