It’s a sunny Sunday morning and after walking around the garden I feel very fortunate that this time after the bad gales there is only the debris of poplar tree branches and twigs littering the garden.
Although the horrendous weather has kept me out of my garden for a few days it hasn’t made any difference to the plants as they progress onwards towards spring.
The spring flowering bulbs are gradually carpeting the ground and I can see it won’t be long before my first daffodil will flower. The first few crocuses that dared to appear early have been hammered and flattened by the heavy rains, but luckily there are plenty more to follow. I’m not sure what’s up with my winter aconites though, they’re all leaf with no flowers.
A very pretty shrub that appears to be flowering early instead of April time is the flowering quince. Chaenomeles is a wonderful versatile genus of hardy, deciduous spiny shrubs that have a long seasonal interest by not only bearing masses of colourful flowers of bright fiery reds, soft pastel pink and salmon shades to white, but also produce fragrant yellow fruits that can be cooked to make jellies and butters.
Growing in most well-drained soils in full sun or part shade they’ll look good in a shrub border, against a wall or trained up a fence or trellis and because they have spines on their branches can be a useful deterrent against intruders.
I planted a young Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’ against my fence, behind a Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’. I did this because it will eventually grow to be a large shrub with masses of stunning white single flowers along bare branches before producing its fresh green foliage. I want the Photinia to grow tall and lose its lower leaves leaving bare stems and looking more like a multi-stemmed tree just like my other Photinia so that I’ll be able to train and enjoy the beauty of my white flowering quince behind it as well as completely hiding an ugly corner.