Some Seasonal Colour!
The honeysuckles are no longer those lovely bushy climbers with that sweet fragrance wafting across the garden, instead are an unruly tangled mess of twisted woody stems, much less foliage with plenty of juicy bright red berries, even brighter when the sun shines on them. I’m not tempted at all to tidy them up because they will give the birds a perch and protection when they come to feed from my hanging bird tables in winter. I’ll prune them all down a few feet from the ground in spring to encourage them to bush out more and climb again, a slow release fertiliser at the same time will give them a boost too.
I’m sure we all have a plant or something in our garden that signals us the change of a season and mine is the Persian Ironwood, Parottia persica. Its leaves are turning red and for the first time this year the leaf cutter bees have found it useful too, although they must be nesting somewhere else because I haven’t spotted any leaves stuffed into any of my bee boxes. This signal prompts me to get on with those last few jobs that need finishing.
My pyracanthas have grown tall, spring to late summer is the best time to prune so I still have time to tidy up a little. They flower and berry on last years growth. These shrubs are great doers, clusters of creamy flowers in late spring into early summer, followed by colourful berries and the colour will depend on the cultivar. They also they make a good barrier plant with extra long and sharp thorns to put off unwanted visitors. Planted in a row can create a beautiful and attractive hedge or a single one to make a thorny filler for that vulnerable gap. They are so trainable too, up a trellis or along the mortar lines of some brick work as long, secure them as they grow and prune to keep their shape. They will thrive in most well-drained soils as long as they don’t become waterlogged, in sun or part-shade. Its a good time to plant now, not only for instant evergreen foliage, but also it will allow them to settle in and take off in spring again.