Spring has sprung and what heralds brighter evenings and milder weather better than trees laden with beautiful blossom?
Trees in bloom can be a stunning sight which brighten up our dreariest streets turning them into confetti strewn aisles of white and pink. In the garden, spring blossoming trees provide instant cheer and a romantic backdrop — such a stunning view from the kitchen window makes a sink full of washing up less of a daunting task!
In this article we focus on spring flowering shrubs or trees and our pick of the bunch are Amelanchier lamarckii (pictured) and Cornus Kousa. These two gorgeous specimens give year-round value to the gardener and particularly come into their own when space is at a premium.
For this reason, both choices work especially well in the smaller garden. Amelanchier lamarckii — also known as Snowy Mespilus, Serviceberry or Juneberry is a real sensation in spring, the branches of this small tree are absolutely bursting with white, star shaped blossom and new copper foliage.
In summer the leaves turn a vibrant green and the branches become heavy with delicious fruit before bursting into vibrant flame — red in autumn. Even in winter, this beauty gives us an attractive striated grey and black trunk.
Add to its obvious ornamental appeal the fact that the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA) has added it to a list of 'bee-friendly' plants then I’m sure you’ll agree that all in all this wonderful plant is a fabulous investment for any garden.
The Cornus family, otherwise known as the dogwoods, is a genus of around 65 species of mostly deciduous shrubs and small trees. The Chinesis variety of Cornus Kousa is a small tree of great beauty, its inconspicuous flowers are offset with showy, highly decorative bracts 4-6cm long in spring and summer.
For the uninitiated, bracts are a modified leaf growing just below a flower or flower stalk. They are flower-like and attractive. Cornus Kousa is a tapering, deciduous tree with foliage that is dark green in summer, turning deep auburn-ruby in autumn.
The dogwood genus is used widely in herbal medicine and in China is prescribed for kidney and bladder disorders. Indeed, dependant on the type of dogwood and the location, this plant has been used throughout history in numerous forms to provide herbal cures for many ailments.
These two shrubs are complementary to one another and both Amelanchier and Cornus will partner effectively with other garden trees including cherries and crab apples. You can also add to the visual complexity and excitement by growing spring climbers such as Clematis Montana through the shrubs, using their stems as supports to create a visually arresting piece if plant-theatre.