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Osmanthus burkwoodii is a delightful evergreen shrub that enchants with its fragrant flowers and compact growth habit. Its small, white blossoms appear in spring, filling the air with a sweet, apricot-like scent. This slow-growing shrub typically reaches a height and width of around 6 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters), making it an excellent choice for smaller gardens or container planting. Osmanthus burkwoodii thrives in well-drained soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. It is generally low-maintenance, requiring only occasional pruning to maintain its shape. Its elegant appearance and intoxicating fragrance make it a beautiful addition to any garden or landscape.
To me, this small tree is at its best when planted as a graceful, high pruned, multi-stemmed shrub. In April it produces a profusion of star-shaped, white flowers with bronze tinged young leaves that turn green as they mature. As it develops the canopy is light and airy creating a dappled shade below which allows for underplanting. It produces berries over the summer months which turn dark red and are quickly devoured by birds. In autumn the leaves display wonderful colour tones of red, yellow and orange. It requires little pruning and is an incredibly versatile and tolerant shrub, coping well with exposed sites and tricky situations.
Exochorda x macrantha Niagara
Exochorda is one of my favourite shrubs and I often include it in my planting schemes. It puts on such a lovely show at this time of year and maintains a good shape throughout the rest of the growing season. 'Niagara' is a beautiful variety that is a hybrid cross between ‘racemosa' and ‘macrantha'. It is compact in habit and grows into a rounded bush with slightly arching branches, producing masses of creamy white flowers in spring. Being smaller in form it is more versatile in a wide range of gardens. Exochorda does well in full sun but will also grow in dappled shaded, it prefers moist well drained soil which is neutral to acid and is easy to grow.
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