Friday, April 25, 2008

Plant of the month - April

Amelanchier canadensis

Snowy mespilus

Actually this picture was taken a couple of weeks ago, and the blossom has finished since, but for all that its spectacular display is brief, when snowy mespilus flowers in spring it really steals the show.

These delicate, butterfly flowers are far more graceful than cherries: they're less overblown, less in-your-face, far more comfortable in their own beautiful skin. These are not flowers that need to shout their arrival: they just appear one day, and everyone drops what they're doing to stare.

One of the most lovely things about the snowy mespilus blossom is that it appears against the very young growth of the leaves, which at this time of year is tinged a coppery bronze. The combination will take your breath away. This is in many ways the perfect small garden tree: it will now clothe itself with vibrant pale green leaves all summer, provide striking purplish-black berries in autumn, and shed its leaves with a final flourish of vivid orangey-reds. It never gets too big, or too messy-looking, and it's not too fussy about its soil - it even puts up with my free-draining sand. If you don't have a mespilus in your garden, go out and buy one right away: you're missing something very special.


garden girl said...

I have a 40-year-old Amelanchier in my garden. It's a lovely, graceful shrub, beautiful spring, summer, and fall, and my favorite shrub in our yard. The birds love the berries.

Miranda Bell said...

This is a beautiful tree! Looks like you're keeping busy - have you had any luck with the poppy seeds yet - if you're like me there's normally not loads of time for your own garden but this year have been trying to make a bit more! Miranda

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