Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ AGM

Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ AGM

image of Louise Sims
Louise Sims

In this most magical of months when there is so much happening in the garden, I want to put in a word for a member of the currant family.

Again, all too often the only one available, and therefore most often seen, is the very drab pink R sanguineum. You could look out for Ribes ‘Pulborough Scarlet’ which, as its name suggests, does have very striking deep pink blooms, but my favourite is the one with snow white flowers.

Interestingly, almost everywhere you read about ‘White Icicle’, it says ‘full sun’. Well this is nonsense and quite frankly I probably wouldn’t have time for it if that were the case, for when not in bud (which emerge in a most enticing way towards the end of February) or in flower, its overall appearance is dull and you wouldn’t want to waste your best sunny spot. I have one in deepest shade on the north wall of our house and it only sees the sun for half an hour in the very late afternoon.

It is all the more striking for being in the shade where the white pendent flowers positively glow. I also have another in dappled shade near an oak tree, and its upright habit is the perfect umbrella for any number of woodland treasures.

It is such an easy shrub, all it needs is a hard prune after flowering, and this also keeps it to a more manageable size.

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.

One reply on “Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ AGM”

Well I have five ribes sanguinium – the ‘drab’ pink colour which I think is called ‘Porky’s Pink’. They are drab but here they form a delicate pale pink backdrop within a mixed shrub border fringed thickly with hellebores. So glad you have mentioned ‘White Icicle’ which I lost and will now replace.
Thank you for being there on ‘lock-down’ Saturdays!

Susie Brooke

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