Hobblebush 2019 / by Sandy Olson

It has been the slowest and coldest and darkest of springs. I have felt uninspired. I have not hunted the same as I have in other springs for the iconic signs. Finally in the very middle of May I saw the hobblebush bloom. On the side of the road I drive every day, on the edge of the woods, there they were. There are even young ones coming along. This is maybe my favorite Viburnum. It is so regal and graceful but you might call it gangly. I like that looseness of form. It has creamy white, almost ivory, blossoms that float above the branches, soft sueded fawn colored buds and full verdant leaves with the smallest of russet serrations around its margins. Everything about it is singular yet it is not precious. It is not flashy. It stands out for a couple of weeks mid spring and then becomes a seamless part of the forest’s edge again.