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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Choisya Ternata Mexican Orange Shrub

Choisya Ternata life between the flowers blog
Choisya Ternata life between the flowers blog

Origins

The Choisya Ternata commonly known as The Mexican Orange is an evergreen shrub which is native through much of Mexico and up into some of the Southern States of North America. It is named in honour of the Swiss clergyman and botanist Jacques Denys Choisy (1799-1859). Breeders have created several different varieties some of which are usually available in nurseries and garden centres. 
Choisya Ternata life between the flowers blog

Growing Habit

Choisya Ternata is a bushy evergreen which are grown as much for their glossy green aromatic foliage as they are for their scented white flowers which are glorious in late April through May. It is not unusual for them to have a second flush of flowers in the Autumn. Without pruning Choisya Ternata  can grow up to 2.5 metres (8feet) wide and 2.0 metres (6.5feet) high, but growing habit does somewhat depend on the particular variety. Popular choices in Britain include Choisya Ternata 'Sundance' which has brighter yellow leaves and Choisya Dewitteana which has narrow leaves and is more compact. Choisya's can be planted as an informal hedge
Choisya Ternata life between the flowers blog

Planting & Pruning

Probably the best time to plant Choisya is in the early Spring but if purchased in a pot you can plant at any time of the year. Take special care in Winter making sure the soil is frost free and in Summer that there is some moisture in the ground. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot and add in a general purpose compost and a handful of fish blood and bone or similar fertilizer. Water thoroughly especially during the summer months and continue until you are confident the plant is established.  There is really very little pruning required except to keep your shrub in shape. This is of course more important if you have planted an informal hedge. As with most shrubs prune after flowering has finished usually in June. Where Winters are hard with snow Choisya can look a bit jaded and bare patches can develop. Cut out all the dead and poor branches in early Spring to encourage new growth but do not cut back hard the entire shrub otherwise you will miss out on the years flowers

General views and discussion is welcome, please say hello. I regret due to my busy schedule I am unable to answer your questions. Thankyou for visiting Life Between the Flowers today.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Kerria Japonica Pleniflora Yellow Spring Flowering Shrub.

life between the flowers Kerria Japonica Pleniflora
life between the flowers Kerria Japonica Pleniflora Jews mantle Batchelor's buttons

Origins

Yellow Spring flowering Shrub Kerria Japonica Pleniflora is also known by its two more common names of Jews Mantle or Batchelor's Buttons. It is a native of China, Japan and The Korean Peninsula.  The cultivar Pleniflora is named after William Kerr a young Scottish Kew gardener, plant hunter and collector.  Kerria Japonica was one of the numerous plants he sent back to The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew in London, as part of an expedition organised by the East India Company to China to find new and undiscovered plants in 1804. It was the Kerria shrub which was subsequently named in his honour.
life between the flowers Kerria Japonica Pleniflora tends to grow in a clump

Growing Habit

Kerria Japonica Pleniflora tends to grow in a thick clump of numerous stems. It is a vigorous grower and will reach a maximum height of around 3.5 metres (12feet) in 8-9 years It produces suckers around the thicket increasing the shrubs width year on year but this seldom reaches beyond the 3 metre mark (10feet). They are however easily maintained and because of their tolerance to most conditions are an ideal shrub to plant in those 'difficult' garden places. Deciduous during Winter, they are prolific flowerers from mid Spring their yellow blooms creating an enormous amount of cheer in celebration of the new growing season.
life between the flowers Kerria Japonica Pleniflora will tolerate most soil conditions and aspects

Planting and Pruning

Kerria Japonica Pleniflora will tolerate most soil conditions providing it is reasonably drained. It is happy in full sun or partial shade and can cope with almost all aspects and exposed conditions.  To plant a new shrub from a pot you can give it the best start by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Add in plenty of compost and a handful of fish blood and bone meal. Water well in and continue to keep moist for the first year or until the shrub becomes established. this is particularly important over the Summer months. It is important to prune Kerria straight after flowering. In Britain that means ideally not later than the second week of June. The reason for this is that they flower on growth from the previous year, so the new shoots that emerge through the Summer will have plenty of time to develop ready to flower the following Spring. They should be cut back quite hard removing old flower stems and dead wood. This should encourage new growth from the base.
life between the flowers Kerria Japonica Pleniflora should be pruned straight after flowering
General views and discussion is welcome, please say hello. I regret because of my busy schedule I am unable to answer questions. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today

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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Evergreen Photinia Red Robin for Shrubbery, Hedging or Standard

Life between the flowers-Evergreen Photinia Red Robin for Shrubbery, Hedging or Standard
Life between the flowers-Photinia Red Robin produces new red shoots in mid March

Origins

Photinia is an evergreen shrub which many people will recognize and know by the common cultivar  Red Robin. However, Photinia's make up a genus of over 50 shrubs and small trees. In 1943 a Photinia seedling was discovered at the Fraser Nurseries in Birmingham Alabama in America. This tiny seedling was a hybrid of Photinia glabra and Photinia serratifolia. So Photinia x fraseri was born and the cultivar Red Robin by far the most popular of the species here in Britain, was bred in New Zealand. Photinias found wild have a wide natural range which spans from North America to the Himalayas, through India and on into Thailand. Several species can also be found in Japan. It is now cultivated and planted in gardens and municipal parks throughout the World. Photinia is a name which comes from the Greek word Photeinos meaning glossy, probably because of its shiny leaves.
Life between the flowers-Photinia Red Robin can grow 12 inches a year up to 15-18 feet high

Growing Habit

Photinia x Fraseri Red Robin can be grown either on its own as a specimen shrub or combined as a hedge. I have also seen them looking very handsome as a standard.  Red Robins grow quite fast, on average 12 inches (30cm) a year, and can reach as high as 15- 18ft (5mtrs +) and over time can spread equally as wide. Here in Britain the shrub starts sprouting its shiny red new shoots in mid March. By April the red leaves have fully opened and white flowers with a pink tinge appear from May.   There is also the similar Photinia x Fraseri Cracklin Red Parred which is smaller and grows to around 5-6ft (2 mtrs) and a dwarf shrub Photinia x Fraseri Little Red Robin 2-3ft (60-90cm).  
Life between the flowers-Photinia Red Robin makes a great hedge and requires minimal maintenance

Planting and Pruning

Red Robin is a shrub that is very easy to grow and once planted requires minimal maintenance. They are happy in either full sun or partial shade and will tolerate most soil types if reasonably fertile and well drained. Dig a hole twice the size of the pot or bare root and add in plenty of compost with a handful of fish blood and bone meal. Water well in and keep watering until the plant has become established. Watering is particularly important during the Summer months in the first year. Pruning is only required to keep the shape of the shrub so a light trim now and again through the Summer should be fine. This is especially important if you want to keep a hedge in shape. If a more substantial prune is required to reduce height or width it is best done in the early part of the Summer after the best of its flowers are over. Occasionally you may notice in Spring as the new shots appear that some leaves have brown purple spots on them (see picture 1 top). This is a sure sign the plant has become stressed over the Winter by harsh conditions or cold winds.  Give the plant a good feed of Growmore or similar and mulch some humus rich compost around the base.
Life between the flowers-Photinia Red Robin's white pink tinged flowers appear in May
General Discussion and your views are welcome, please say hello. I regret because of my busy schedule I am unable to answer any questions. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today.

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