Green on green


I’m a sucker for green flowers.


Among the few treasures we inherited when we bought our house was an established viburnum opulus. Along with an old rhubarb crown, a half-dead monstera deliciosa and a small olive tree it was one of the only plants we kept when we landscaped the garden. It is so beautiful at this time of year, as well as in autumn when its leaves turn a dark reddish purple before falling. The only disappointment is that its flowers lack a scent.

I have never forgotten a plant combination I saw in a photograph years ago: a viburnum opulus and two syringa vulgaris cultivars, one with classic lilac coloured flowers and the other with a dark reddish purple flower, possibly ‘congo’. So when I discovered that the neglected shrub along the fence in the back garden was a viburnum opulus I knew exactly what to plant beside it: a syringa vulgaris whose fragrance will one day more than compensate for what its neighbour lacks.