In the search for unusual and exotic plants it is easy to become blind to the qualities of common-or-garden varieties.  Viburnum tinus is a ubiquitous shrub because it is tough, easy-to-grow and attractive: qualities in a plant that every garden needs.  It needs no mollycoddling nor any special conditions for it to thrive.  The species grows around the Mediterranean and as long as your soil is not waterlogged it should grow well.  The leathery, dark green foliage is the perfect foil to the flat clusters of dusky pink buds and the white, starry scented flowers.

In the Autumn it produces bunches of metallic blue berries.  I’ve seen it tightly clipped in columns, alternating with beech to make a striking, formal hedge.