Japanese Quince - Chaenomeles Japonica
Another shrub out in bloom alot more earlier than usual was this lovely red Chaenomeles japonica or Japanese quince at the weekend. A tough and reliable performer, that can be grown as either a free standing shrub or as in this case a wall shrub. Good for virtually any aspect including Northfacing, in my experience they seem to like most soil types. Their slender branches have thorns along them, and although they are known as an ornamental quince because of their fruit they are members of the rosaceae 'rose. Their yellow produce is very high in pectin and are edible and can be made into a preserve. Pruning free standing shrubs is done after flowering (which usually begins in early spring!) The aim is to shorten new growths in order to build up flowering spurs and to remove any dead or damaged growth.Wall trained specimens will need to be cut back in late Summer to their framework of stems. These shrubs are a useful plant to grow in a part of the garden which has suffered from honey fungus as they have resistance to this. Available in a great range of flowering colours from reds pinks and whites they are a lovely addition as a foundation shrub in your garden. Propagated either via semi hardwood, or root cuttings, this one pictured is certainly enjoying its sheltered but sunny spot.