Snowball Bushes: Gifts of Light
Giant Flowers for Gardeners
One of the best Mother's Day gifts I ever gave my Mom was a Chinese viburnum, or snowball bush. It's grown over the last fifteen years into a huge shrub, overshadowing the house and bursting out into giant round blooms twice a year. In the twilight, they glow softly, like paper lanterns.
The blossoming globes are composed of hundreds of white, star-shaped petals. When their season is over, it looks as though stars fell to cover the sidewalk.
Not all snowball bushes will get this big. Some varieties are smaller, and you need a warm climate for them to reach their best height. But even a small one will be four to six feet, plenty big for most yards! They make dramatic gifts for anyone who loves gardening. Once established, the bush will produce huge blossoms for many years.
[Photos by Valerie Proctor Davis]
Plant a Snowball Tree - Give this one lots of room!
The warmer the climate, the bigger this variety will get, with flowers more like soccer balls than soft balls! It may bloom again in fall.
Snowball Hedge - Plant several in a row
If you don't have room for a giant tree, this smaller sized variety grows 4 to 6 feet. It makes a great accent shrub, or you can plant it as a hedge.
In the warm climate and clayey soil of the South, this Chinese viburnum has grown taller than the house. See Dad down at the bottom? Some of the blooms are bigger than his head!
My parents had to take out another tree to make room for the snowball bush to grow straight. It was bent in a big arbor over the walk for a few years.
Beautiful Cut Flowers
Viburnum blooms make lovely arrangements in a jug or large bowl. The flowers are unscented, so they won't aggravate your hay fever.
Snowball Coffee Gift Basket - For a flower lover!
A coffee mug and coasters decorated with snowball flowers, together with gourmet coffees, makes a great gift for a flower-loving gardener!
Dried Snowball Blooms
Dried snowball flowers make a country-style display - Mom keeps one in a hanging wire basket in the kitchen.
If the weather is dry, you can just leave the blooms on the bush until they're dried enough, then cut. If it's damper, cut the blooms at their height and then let them dry indoors in a vase.
Snowball Views - A mountain of snowy spring blossoms.Click thumbnail to view full-size
Find More Plant Gifts
Still looking for a garden gift? Search for plants, seeds, and gardening accessories.