CHERRIES TO CHER­ISH

EDP Norfolk - - GARDEN GUIDE -

With spring al­most here, April and May are the peak months for cherry blos­som. There are many good va­ri­eties to choose from with at­tributes to suit most gar­dens.

One of my favourites, due to its unique flower colour, is Prunus ‘Ukon’. This ro­bust spread­ing cherry pro­duces semi-dou­ble creamy-yel­low flow­ers from pink buds in April and May along with bronzy young leaves which turn green in sum­mer then rusty red be­fore fall­ing in au­tumn.

Another strong grower is Prunus shizuka. Also known as ‘Fragrant Cloud’, it has large white semi-dou­ble flow­ers which turn pink with age and have the added bonus of a rich scent. One of the most pop­u­lar weep­ing cherries is Prunus Kikushi­dare-zukura (Cheals Weep­ing Cherry). This makes a small tree with grace­ful weep­ing branches, cov­ered in spring with clus­ters of fully dou­ble rich pink flow­ers.

For those with lim­ited space, the flag­pole cherry (Prunus amana­gawa) is a good choice. It rarely spreads more than 2m with a height of around 6m. It has large semi-dou­ble pink flow­ers in April and May and like many cherries its leaves emerge bronzy-red be­fore turn­ing green in sum­mer then colour up well in au­tumn be­fore fall­ing. Prunus pre­fer well-drained soil but will tol­er­ate most types as long as it’s not wa­ter­logged, in­clud­ing over chalk; they also tol­er­ate pol­lu­tion so make good trees for built-up ar­eas.

Signs of spring; beau­ti­ful cherry blos­som. This is Prunus shizuka

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