Six on Saturday. Spring Fever.

Well the clocks go forward to night so at last we can really say that it is spring. Yippee! But the sharp wind doesn’t feel very spring-like and it has created rather fuzzy photos, but never mind we have to celebrate the garden in its spring party finery and if the photos are a bit blurry it is because the flowers are dancing.

My number one is this really pretty little peach tree.

Prunus persica ‘Meldred

When I was a child my grandmother grew a peach tree from a stone and every year it was laden with luscious fruit. My endeavours to grow peach trees have all ended dismally until I found this wonderful Prunus persica ‘Meldred’. The reason for my failures have all been because of peach leaf curl, caused by the fungus Tafrina deformans. This fungus is caused by rain falling on the tree in spring and the leave curling disease weakens the tree each year until it dies. This tree is dwarf and lives in a pot in the greenhouse where spring rains can’t get at it. I brought it out today to photograph it and to give the bees a chance to pollinate the flower. I would grow this tree for the lovely dark pink blossom alone but in late summer it gives me small but very juicy fruit.

Flowering currants are ubiquitous and I have kept one of the shocking pink one which seeds everywhere and was all over the garden and I also grow several different sorts which are more sophisticated. But I am very fond of this white flowering one which blooms before the buds on the pink one open up. It is called Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’ which seems a good name for it.

Ribes sanguineum ‘White Iclicle’

I love early cherry blossom and I also love dainty blossom rather than the big blowsy ones that bloom later. Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ fits the bill perfectly. The name means ‘Flight of Butterflies’ which is a beautiful description for the masses of delicate little flowers. This is a dwarf shrub and it sits perfectly in my winter garden because even when it is not in bloom the zigzag twigs of the bare branches look lovely.

Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’

A favourite shrub in March is the lovely Stachyurus praecox which has racemes of primrose yellow, bell -shaped flowers like strings of beads dangling from each bare branch. I believe Americans call this ‘Spiketail’ but I wish they wouldn’t, it is such an ugly name for such delicate beauty. In a previous garden I had a stachyurus with beautifully variegated leaves in summer after it had finished blooming. It was called Stachyurus ‘Magpie’ and I have never been able to find it since I left. I am still trying to hunt it down.

Stachyurus praecox’

I love any sort of sweet pea type flower and the little perennial spring- flowering one is a gem. It is called Lathyrus vernus ‘Alboroseus. The flowers are pink and white and the clump gets bigger every year. I also have the purple Lathyurus vernus but it always blooms a bit later. Occasionally, you get seedlings. Bees love this plant and so do I.

Lathyurus vernus ‘Alboroseus’

Fritillaries are amongst my favourite spring flowers and I have quite a few different varieties but the first one into bloom is Fritillaria imperialis ‘Early Fantasy’ I love Crown Imperials and I have clumps of them round the garden in red, orange or yellow but this peachy one is new to to me this year. I just bought the one to see what it is like but next year I shall have to empty out the piggy bank and have a big clump of them. It is so pretty.

Fritillaria imperialis ‘Early Fantasy’

I like it against the cinammon -coloured bark of Acer griseum with a pool of apricot violets at its feet.

So here are my six on Saturday to join in with The Propagator and his ever growing band of enthusiastic followers who find interesting horticultural things to share with us each Saturday. Do go and see.

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46 Responses to Six on Saturday. Spring Fever.

  1. ‘‘Flight of Butterflies’ – I’ll have to remember that. It looks beautiful.

  2. Pauline says:

    Lovely blossom and flowers, your peachy fritillaria is beautiful. My Prunus Kojo no mai grew to over 8ft and I decided that was enough, I bought it thinking it was a dwarf shrub, but like Topsy, it just grew! Last year I had it taken out and now have a much smaller one, a sucker, growing on one of its roots, this one will be kept small!

    • Chloris says:

      8ft, my goodness that is tall for ‘Kojo no mai’. I thought it is dwarf too. I like mine the size it is now. I have another one which is older which is tiny and stubbornly refuses to grow at all.So perhaps they vary.

  3. You have a beautiful spring garden. I always enjoy your tours.

  4. Kris P says:

    I’m so envious, Chloris. Fritillaria, in particular, is a plant I’ve always admired but it’s well out of bounds here. I’ve killed Ribes sanguineum once or twice, probably causing it to die of thirst, and have had to make do with the much less spectacular Ribes viburnifolium. I inherited a noID flowering peach tree with the garden, inexplicably planted on the back slope by a prior owner. It’s never produced viable fruit. It suffered from leaf curl last year and I sprayed it during dormancy – your post is a reminder that I should check on it. Maybe the copper spray – and our exceptionally low rainfall – will make a difference this year.

    • Chloris says:

      I had no idea that Flowering Currant could be picky, it seeds around everywhere here. I am surprised that you get Peach Leaf Curl in your dry garden. This lovely variety ‘Meldred’ was a chance seedling in America, the blossom is fabulous as you can see and I would grow it even if I didn’t get peaches.

  5. Gorgeous collection of spring flowering shrubs. The peach is lovely. My mum grew peach trees successfully against a sunny dry wall, so it was interesting to read about spring rain being the cause of the leaf curl disease. The Fritillaria imperialis is absolutely gorgeous, I love that colour.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Sel. Perhaps the wall protected the peach tree from rain. My Grandmother’s tree was perfectly healthy against the wall too. 0r maybe Peach Leaf Curl is a relatively new pathogen. Yes, I love the Crown Imperial too, it makes a nice change from the usual colours.

  6. LOVE the white currant and flowering cherry!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Jason, I think the white Flowering Currant looks much moore sophisticated than the bright pink one. The cherry is useful because it doesn’t grow too big and so fits into any sized garden. And the flowers have a delicate beauty.

  7. My grandparents had a peach farm. Love the trees, but never grew one. How wonderful you get fruit. They are notoriously susceptible to all sorts of things here. A nearby grows a low chill peach that bears fruit. I am sticking to Mangoes. The Fritillaria is fabulous and peachy!

    • Chloris says:

      Wow, how exotic having a peach farm. I have never seen them growing en masse. If I could grow mangoes and papayas like you I should be so happy. But my little peach tree is worth the effort for the beautiful blossom.

      • I rarely buy peaches because I grew up eating theirs. I think they had 200 acres of peaches. My cousins all wanted to go to college so they would never have to pick peaches again.

  8. fredgardener says:

    “Flight of butterflies “ … I didn’t know , thank you for teaching us that thing. Fritillaria in bloom already, a way ahead of mine !

    • Chloris says:

      I didn’t know either, I looked up the meaning of the name. My other Fritillaria imperialis are still in bud but this one lives up to its name, ‘Early Fantasy’.

  9. Anna says:

    A peach of a peach Chloris 😄 That fritillaria imperialis is such an attractive colour – so much more appealing than the orange. Worth emptying the piggy back for.

  10. tonytomeo says:

    Flowering currant is surprisingly popular outside of its native range. I think I see more in pictures from other places than in the landscapes here. Actually, only a few specimens live within only one of the landscapes, and most were planted intentionally. Although I like it here, it is not the sort of species I would recommend for some of the places where it is so popular. I would not expect it to be happy in climates that get more rain, or rain through summer. Nonetheless, it seems to be happier in other regions than it is here; perhaps because it is appreciated more.

    • Chloris says:

      Well, it is popular here you see it in most gardens. Along with daffodils it shouts out spring. Some people object to the smell but I don’t mind it, it takes me straight back to my childhood garden.

  11. Nate says:

    What’s your secret to growing Fritillaria? I thought their smell would keep moles away. I bought several bulbs and none of them grew.

    • Chloris says:

      Crown Imperials are often killed by winter wet. They need a free draining soil. I plant mine slightly on their side so rain won’t collect in the crown and rot it. I put them on a layer of sand and gravel. Mine do best in a sunny position. They are worth the effort to grow and bloom for ages.

  12. I love these “six on Saturday” posts. One of these days, I’ll have to join in. All your flowering trees and shrubs are lovely–I truly can’t pick a favorite. Happy spring!

  13. Cathy says:

    I really must try crown imperials again, and this one is especially appealing. Love your peach too – and White Icicle. I did try to buy the latter a couple of years ago but it was out of stock and I ended up with a basic R laurifolium which has distinctly underperformed since…might cut my losses and seek WI again…

    • Chloris says:

      I couldn’t find White Icicle when I wanted it for a friend so I bought her R.’Elkington’s White’ which was just as pretty. I love R. laurifolium because I love green flowers but mine here doesn’t look as good as the one in my previous garden. I watched a Plant Heritage talk yesterday featuring Alan Grey from the Old Vicarage, East Ruston. He grows it up a wall and it looks great like this as otherwise it sprawls.

      • Cathy says:

        That was really interesting re the 2 white ones, and that R laurifolium can be grown up a wall, as mine was defintely sprawling and I just assumed it was a badly shaped plant. I think I will move it where it can be encouraged to be vertical now I know. Is Alan Grey a good speaker? I really respect him as a gardener and have loved my visits to EROV. MIght the talk be available to download, do you think?

  14. Fantastic Fritillaria! I had one which flowered well for a couple of years, but has since given up the ghost. I assume yours has a bit of shade, being next to the acer? What’s the soil like?

  15. All very lovely and floriferous. That crown imperial is divine! You won’t be the only one ordering for clumps of it next year, now that you’ve highlighted it.

  16. Your garden is living up to its name. The peach blossom is gorgeous and the Fritilleria combination sounds wonderful.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you, yes spring brings so many beauties. I have just looked at your beautiful garden and followed your blog. I couldn’t find an ‘About’ post. Which part of the country is your garden? Do you open to the public?

  17. Paddy Tobin says:

    The Stachyurus is a favourite here also though it forms a very large and very open shrub.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, I know what you mean about it being a large, open shrub but still I love it. What else has such dear little yellow buttons with fuzzy outsides?

      • Chloris says:

        Soory Paddy, I was thinking about the Edgeworthia when I wrote that. Stachyurus doesn’t have buttons, it has strings of beads and it is just as beautiful. I wouldn’t be without either.

  18. I’ve never seen such a dark peach flower, it is a real beauty. Also that Lathyrus vernus is wonderful, I have the bog standard one but this one really shines out. I have seen Magpie, but only in other people’s gardens which I doubt they would let me take, I will keep my eye out for it elsewhere.

    • Chloris says:

      The peach is lovely, I don’t know what I shall do if it gets too big for the greenhouse, I hope it will remember it is supposed to be dwarf. I will send you some seeds of the Lathyrus in due course. Oh dear, I have a horrible feeling I might have promised you some last year and forgot all about it. I’ll tie a knot in my hankie.

  19. Annette says:

    That first Prunus looks stunning, just a pity that you can’t plant it out. My Stachyurus is just going over, it’s a delightful shrub. Just wonder which camera you used to take the pics? Hope all is well, wishing you and the pianist a lovely Easter xx

    • Chloris says:

      I hope you are having a happy Easter Annette. My camera is a Lexus but I can’t blame the camera or the wind for the blurry photos. I thought perhaps it was condensation but it was actually mud. I went out to take photos and put the camera down to pull weeds. I should really retake the photos but it’s old news now, time to move on.

  20. snowbird says:

    What a delightful six! Oh, I love your home sown peach tree, just gorgeous and to think you get peaches! I sowed one last year which is coming up in the greenhouse, just from a supermarket fruit. Early fantasy is stunning! Flowering currant seeds everywhere here too so I was surprised by the comment re it being difficult to grow. I love your white one. It’s lovely seeing the clock go back, but like you we still have that cold wind.xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Dina. It was my Grandmother’s peach tree which was grown from a stone. I bought this one, it is a named variety called ‘Meldred’. Yes Flowering Currant seeds everywhere here too.
      Goodness it’s cold today. I’m worrying about my magnolias which are looking fabulous, frost is forecast for the next few nights.

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