CHERRIES TO CHERISH
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