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Showing posts from March, 2016

In praise of ... amelanchier

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A peacock competes for attention with an amelanchier in full bloom at Cotswold Wildlife Park near Burford
Spring is on the tip of Nature’s tongue. At this time of year, it may sometimes as if she is having a senior moment and can’t quite remember the name of the new season, but by the end of the March, the first of the flowering trees are coming into bloom. One of the most reliable of these, in my experience, is amelanchier, and I’ve never understood why this tree is not more popular. It has delicate white flowers and copper leaves in spring, berries in summer, and good autumn foliage colour. It has a natural tendency to be multi-stemmed, which means that it can be grown either like a shrub or as a small tree. It will tolerate pruning, and will achieve a maximum height of only 30ft after 20 years, so it’s a great choice for a small garden. Amelanchier, like Judas trees (Cercis siliquastrum), forsythia, ornamental quince (Chaenomeles ssp) and flowering cherries, are understorey trees, a…