Great Plants this Month Winter

Chaenomeles x superba ‘Pink Lady’ AGM

Louise Sims

Everyone is familiar with the ornamental quince. They are easy to grow, very hardy, can be left to grow freely or be trained tightly against a wall. They also come in many colours, some more familiar than others, and are tolerant of almost any soil type.

What is not often pointed out is the ability of some of them to thrive in almost total shade and this particular one, ‘Pink Lady’ does just that, and it must be the earliest of them all.

Ours started to flower in the middle of January and is very prolific. The tiny, dark pink buds burst from bare braches, open to a clear mid-pink, and they are stunning. The flowers positively glow in what would otherwise be a rather murky corner under trees.

We also grow C speciosa ‘Nivalis’ which is a very old variety with beautiful snow white flowers that show up well on a north wall, and another specimen grows happily in the dappled shade of a cherry tree.

Being members of the Rosaceae family, which includes many fruit trees, they are amenable to hard pruning and I have seen them very effectively and sometimes meticulously trained around doorways and windows.

Fruits in the autumn are not plentiful but they are extremely high in pectin and make delicious jellies!

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