Passionate About Plants
Paul recommends some plants for Spring colour
Plants for Spring Colour!
The east wind is a lazy wind, it don't blow round you it blows through you! I can hear my grandfather saying this and it is most certainly true of this last Easter. The sunny dry days we are now experiencing are great providing you can get out of that bitterly cold wind. Easter was early this year but the dry cold weather did us gardeners no favours, and here we are 2 weeks on and we are still missing those warm April showers we need to kick start many of our garden plants.
Many of our spring flowering shrubs are not flowering for any length of time due to the fact that spring started late and unless we get some warm rain summer will arrive very quickly forcing our garden plants to have a short growing period.
Here at the nursery our Magnolia soulangeana hybrids have been promising us a magnificent display but with the very strong, cold north easterly winds the flowering has been cut short even though they are in a sheltered position. The star shaped varieties have produced a much better display as they have not suffered the physical damage on their petals. For the small garden I would recommend Magnolia stellata (small white star shaped flowers) and Magnolia x loebneri Leonard Messel. This can make a magnificent tall shrub or tall tree with lilac/pink flowers, deeper in bud. A chance hybrid between, an unusual, M.kobus, which has a pale purple line along the centre of its sepals, and M.stellata rosea. Originated at Nymans, Sussex, a great garden made by the late Col. Messel.
Another of my favourite Magnolias is Susan. This is another Magnolia stellata rosea cross, but this time crossed with Magnolia lilliflora Nigra, this is a medium sized shrub with an upright habit. The flower shape is very similar to lilliflora but the colour in my mind is much better. The flowers deep red/purple in bud, red/purple when open. Usually flowering a little later than most and this year it is certainly being held back by the cold north easterly winds.
Last year I came across a new Forsythia cultivar called Gold Nugget and wrongly dismissed it as a new name on an old variety. But how wrong can you be? The flowers are a bright yellow and very large, A really good improvement and if you want a forsythia in your garden for spring colour this is well worth looking out for.
The flowering cherries are all flowering well this year but due to the cold winds will not flower for long. One I have been very impressed with is Prunus cerasifers Spring Glow. The lovely rich shade of pink has been impressive this year and the flowers held tight too the branches have with stood the strong winds. It has the advantage of purple foliage during the summer.
In our Large Display Tunnel we have been blessed with an environment which brings on plants early and stops any scent from dispersing quickly, so we have had the pleasure of the sent from an unusual lilac. Syringa pinnatifolia is so unlike a lilac as to create an amusing conundrum for the uninitiated. It was collected north central China by Ernest Wilson in 1904 and has white flower in small nodding panicles. The leaves are pinnate with 7-11 separate leaflets, so unlike a lilac leaf! You will be luck to see one never mind find one to buy. It is this kind of rare plant which gives me a lift on dull wet days.
We will shortly have a lovely display of Wisteria plants blooming in the display tunnel, early I know but well worth a visit.
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Quaymount Gardening Services
We offer a planting and general gardening service and help you keep on top of your garden through out the spring and summer. Please phone and see if we can help you.