It's not even April yet and I have already discovered a plant that I must have immediately. I was down in Guilford for a social function this afternoon. Late, as usual, I had to park quite far away from the house. Lucky me, I got to park my car right next to this amazing, fragrant, pink flowering shrub in full bloom. From a distance I though it was Azalea mucronulatum 'Cornell Pink' as they are starting to open already. It is a deciduous shrub, open in habit, absolutely covered with the prettiest flowers. On closer inspection the following words came into my head: Viburnum bodnantense 'Dawn'. I learned about this plant many years ago but have to admit I have never seen it in real life, growing in the ground. I had a few in pots at the garden center, but they hung around all season and finally got adopted by a savvy horticulturalist at one of our clearance sales. I didn't sell because I didn't know how fabulous it was and so I didn't make a sign for it or talk about or anything. Now I know better.
This plant normally blooms in late March and early April in CT. Since we are having such a warm spring, I am not surprised to see it in flower today. It grows 8-10' tall and 6-8' wide. The plant I saw was loose and open, but I know I could tighten it up with careful pruning right after flowering. I stuck my nose in the blossoms and they were very sweet. Not nearly as intoxicating as Viburnum carlesii, but sweet nonetheless. I imagine in arching over a pair of Abeliophyllums as they would both bloom at the same time and the Abeliophyllums would fill in the base.
I also now have a new plant I can force for fragrant flowers indoors. I am really excited. This bodes well for the season ahead that I am already coveting completely new plants a few days before our retail shop even opens. I just checked the availability list of one of my growers and wouldn't you know it, they have it. Add one on for me please, as their trucks are loading up and rolling in any day now.