The Garden Guru - Phil Dudman -

May Bush for Spring

Doesn’t this say spring - a super display of blooms of the magnificent May Bush? It’s an old favourite, but it’s still one of the most spectacular white flowering shrubs you can have in the garden.

The common name May Bush is a bit confusing because it flowers here in September, but in the northern hemisphere it flowers in May. It has another common name - Bridal Wreath - because the flowering branches where often used as garlands. And its botanical name – Spiraea – is derived from the Greek word for wreath.

There’s more to the history. Years ago, it was discovered that Spiraeas contain a substance called salicin, as does the willow tree. This was important in the development of the drug we know today as Aspirin. There's one to to think about next time you’re popping a painkiller.

Back in the garden, it’s certainly a soothing shrub to look at with its graceful arching branches and pure white blooms. There are many ways you can enjoy it in your garden too - as a specimen plant, in a mixed shrub border or as a privacy hedge where you’d really make an impact.

It’ll grow almost anywhere, full sun to part shade, handles mild frost, and is relatively free of pests and disease.May Bush needs very little care other than a bit of pruning to keep it in shape and the time to do that is straight after flowering. That’ll produce plenty of new growth on which the flowers will develop next year.

Copyright Phil Dudman 2006