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Spiraea Vanhouttei - Bridal Wreath or Vanhoutte Spirea
Here’s a beauty abounding with character and heritage. Grown across UK gardens for more than a century, it is the largest of the Spirea genus. A recipient of the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit, it really stands out in any garden space. Spiraea Vanhouttei is a beautiful deciduous shrub which provide a wonderful, three dimensional structure of sorts. Some suggested locations include city and courtyard gardens; coastal cottages; an informal patio garden; along borders and beds; or as a container plant on the patio. Most notably, the Spiraea Vanhouttei shows off a profuse white flower from its shrub habit, with notable green foliage. Once autumn arrives, the leaves turn to a pronounced shade of purple.
A member of the Rosaceae Family, and the Genus Spiraea, some consistencies across its relatives include their deciduous nature, sometimes suckering, simple leaves speckled with white and sometimes pinkish borne on pink stems. Vanhoutte Spirea express a beautiful cluster of white flowers along the stems in the early months of summer.
Spiraea Vanhouttei, also known as the Bridal Wreath is hardy to zone H7 in the UK. Spirea prefer full sun or partial shade; so the order of preferred aspect would be facing south, north, west or east. They can handle exposure or do well in sheltered positions as well.
Insofar as their preferred soils, Vanhouttei Bridal Wreath will thrive in well drained but moist soils so supplying good organic matter to a soil that drains well internally is preferred. Best textures would be sand, chalk, and loam. The preferred pH for this beauty is slightly acid to slightly alkaline or near neutral (7.0). Its time to ultimate height is from 5-10 years depending on management and site. It will typically grow to more than 0.75-1.50 metres in height 0.75-1.0 metres in spread.
This shrub is well suited to most soils that hold moisture well without saturating and causing wet feet. Other than the most extreme cold conditions, Spiraea Vanhouttei will persist in virtually all environments.
So if you’re in search of a compact, deciduous shrub to place as a border or manage as its own bed, whether in the garden or a container on the patio, give this historically rich specimen a try. Its distinctive, profuse white flowers against its green foliage backdrop that turns a pronounced shade of purple in autumn will make it a year-round favourite.
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