One of the highlights of my daily commute is observing the seasonal changes of a boulevard garden in my neighbourhood. It is one of those perfectly planned, small gardens that has just enough in it to have something going on every month, every season.
The highlight of the year is going on right now with a truly spectacular show – the scarlet leaves of a Euonymus alatus ‘Compacta’ — also known as a dwarf burning bush. In the dark shade of my neighbourhood’s Douglas fir forest, this shrub glows like embers (hence the common name).
Dwarf burning bush is a medium sized shrub developing ornamental ridges or ‘wings’ on its older stems (another common name for it is ‘winged burning bush’). These add an interesting texture in the winter garden and although the flowers are not particularly showy, they develop into intense violet berries that ripen to a bright orange.
Burning bush is stunning planted as a single specimen – as my neighbour has done – or in groves or hedges. I love it in combination with the dwarf Ginkos like Mariken or Spring Grove — the beautifully shaped leaves of which turn a vivid yellow.
If you have a spot in your garden that gets 6 hours of sun or more a day, you should definitely consider including a Dwarf Burning Bush.