We had to visit the garden centre at Bridgemere to buy a few presents for gardening friends and relations, so as usual we had to have a wander around their plants. We always enjoy their seasonal displays where the best plants of the time are put together in border-like collections – a great idea if you want to know what is giving best seasonal interest. It was particularly good today as a chiminea was simmering away sending wafts of gentle wood smoke into the cool moist air. We were in search of a couple of specimens of Cornus “Cardinal” to creat a trio with the one we bought earlier in the winter. The garden was crying out for a group of three under the white-trunked trio of Betulus utilis “Silver Queen”.
On the journey there we had spotted a stunning malus on the grass verge that glowed an orangy peach colour. And then by coincidence we spotted one at Bridgemere just after loading a pair of cornus into our trolley and as you can imagine it ended up joining them. Gardeners should never give in to impulse buys especially if they have no idea where the plant in question could be planted. We fell for it. The temptation was too great and we definitely had no idea where it would fit into our garden.
We wandered around the garden with the new malus, trying out various spots and eventually found what we hope will prove an ideal situation in front of a grass to emphasis the fruit colour and near a bronze leaved phormium for contrast. Here it will be in the spotlight in autumn and early winter when the low sun will light up the orange and peach of the fruits and emphasise their translucency.
This malus was new to us and is also known as Malus “Adirondack”. It is a small tree or large shrub growing to just 12ft tall and 5ft wide after a decade – just right for a small garden. We look forward now to its “dense clusters of large waxy white flowers” which follow its dark carmine buds.