Great Plants this Month Winter

Chaenomeles speciosa ‘Nivalis’

Japanese quince ‘Nivalis’

image of Louise Sims
Louise Sims

By its very ubiquity, the poor old Japanese quince is often overlooked, but I have always rated  them highly and not least, of course, because any shrub flowering in February is to be welcomed.

This deciduous and woody shrub is very accommodating and adaptable, it’s also extremely hardy and is tolerant of almost any aspect or soil. I have seen it looking good grown as a free standing specimen in sun or dappled shade, and it looks particularly effective when grown against a wall – unless (and I quote from *Ballyroberts Gardens website) the wall is white!

The single, white-as-driven-snow flowers are cup shaped and borne on bare stems. The branches are spiny but not in an intrusive way, and a light prune after flowering will keep it in shape, or in check if space is at a premium. Unchecked it will easily attain two metres in height and width.

I can’t fault it really: some may say it looks boring for the rest of the year which is true, so you could always grow a late flowering clematis through it, but just keep a look out, as a very vigorous clematis sometimes knows no bounds and might swamp and overwhelm the host plant. I’ve learned this to my cost as last year an over zealous Clematis viticella almost killed its host (a rose). – and there is a lot to make you smile here!

NB Louise has published a beautifully produced book of her plant profiles – A Plant for Each Week of the Year. It costs £9.99 and is for sale in our online shop here.

More NB If you’re not already a subscriber and you’d like a bit more gardening chitchat from the3growbags, please type your email address here and we’ll send you a new post every Saturday morning.

By the3growbags

We're three sisters who love gardening, plants and even the science of horticulture but we're not all experts. We'd love everyone even remotely interested in their gardens to be part of our blogsite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.