I was walking round the garden earlier in the week and
noticed how wonderful our early flowering Prunus
were looking. I spotted the first one on approaching the Herb Garden from
the Stream Field. This is the beautiful white blossomed Prunus mume 'Omoi-no-mama' (Japanese apricot); a small tree that is
in its prime when everything else in the Herb garden is still to get going.
Prunus mume 'Omoi-no-mama'
On this occasion I made my way to Lady Anne’s Garden and
another Prunus could be seen a good
distance away as a splash of colour in an otherwise green and brown border. As
with all these small early flowering trees, the dark pink blossom of Prunus mume 'Beni-shidare' is borne on bare
branches before the first leaves.
Prunus mume 'Beni-Shidare'
Again, in Lady Anne’s Garden, we have Prunus
'Kursar' AGM; a specimen that has been delighting us for many years and is on
Lady Anne’s records of having been planted by Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram, (an
authority on Japanese flowering cherries) in 1965. This has dark pink saucer
shaped flowers borne in clusters of 3-4.
Prunus 'Kursar' AGM
Whereas the spring bulbs and early flowering herbaceous
perennials such as hellebores and pulmonarias are essential ground level
elements in the garden at this time of year, the ornamental Prunus offer something more; a mass of
bloom above head height that can be appreciated from the house without going
out into the cold!
If you would like to grow a Prunus check the link www.rhs.org.uk/Plants/RHS-Publications/Journals/The-Garden/Past-Issues/2011-issues/April/Cherries-for-small-gardens
for more ideas about small ornamental cherry trees.