Such an eye catching shrub is the Fothergilla Monticola
Fothergilla Monticola a shrub which I was not familiar with
Profiling a plant which I am not familiar with, I wont make a habit of. However every now and again something catches your eye and you have difficulty getting it out of your head. For me, Fothergilla Monticola is one such shrub. I first came across it in April of 2011 on a visit to Crathes Castle gardens. I did take something like a dozen pictures of it, just to make sure I had at least a couple of decent ones to show you.
I have of course had to do a bit of research on this shrub, but hey I don’t see a problem in that, doesn’t all of our information come from both experience and what is passed on by being educated.
Fothergilla Monticola (Hamameleoaceae) a member of the Hamamelis family with creamy white bottle brush type flowers in Spring, grows to about 6.5 ft tall. The blooms are very striking and said to be scented, growth is also mentioned as being quite slow.
The fact that I had not seen Fothergilla before made me think it may be on the tender side. Crathes Castle gardens are in a sheltered position and about fifteen miles inland from Aberdeen. In spite of the short distance from the city, Crathes is in fact milder in Spring and Summer than we are on the coast. However this does not protect the gardens from the cold weather in Winter where the temperatures are lower than we would expect in town.
Fothergilla Monticola is said to be hardy down to a temperature of minus 15c/5f which should make it suitable for growing in Aberdeen as our temp very seldom goes as low as this, and on the occasion that it does it is never prolonged.
Fothergilla Monticola is also said to be quite stunning in Autumn when the glossy toothed dark green leaves turn various shades of red and orange.
I just do not know where I am going to find a place in the garden for this beauty, something is going to have to go.
Hardiness – Fully hardy
Position – Sun/part shade
Plant prefers soil to be on the acidic side
After seeing this shrub last year, I spotted that Rosie of Leavesinbloom did a very interesting post on Fothergilla Blue Shadow, do take a look.
—Mail Order— I could only find the variety which Rosie profiles.
After living for twenty seven years in the same house, it isn’t all that surprising to find that some trees which we planted in the early years had outgrown their situation. You know what its like, the specimen which you were once so proud of is now blocking the sunshine to such an extent, it just has to go.
What about the Sorbus Cashmeriana (Rowan)
It wasn’t time for you to go, you were one of our favourites and only little. Cashmeriana, the first of our Rowans to burst into leaf in early Spring, followed by pale pink flowers and then those large white berries which you produced in abundance every year from late August through till December some years.
You weren’t a very tall Tree, in fact at seven feet you were rather short, well formed though, just like your owner. I think your height may have been stunted by the positioning, where there was a huge rock underneath probably restricting your roots.
Cashmeriana is said, not to be very long lived. This Spring we noticed the leaf buds of the other Rowans developing and thought it strange that our white berried one was still bare. On closer inspection it became clear that the Tree was dead. Yes Cashmeriana is gone and will be missed.
On a cheerier note here we have a few plants which were looking quite good in April/early May,
A touch of white is welcome at any time of the year. Osmanthus Delavayi on the left actually first opened its blooms in March and continued to look good till the end of April. I often undeservedly overlook the Viburnum Tinus.
Just look at the Cherry Cheals weeping, what a sight for sore eyes. Makes me think of the gardeners who say they don’t like pink, others have a dislike for yellow, and then red often gets the works as does orange. Oh my, I just don’t get it, ah the bliss in my simplicity. Mind you everyone loves blue (hurrah)
A cheery container in the back garden and another by the front door.
I have been known in the past to say that the only dependable Camellia for the Aberdeen area is the Williamsii Donation. Well well, look what we have here, a lovely red Japonica. It has been in the woodland for a good few years and normally has three or four blooms. This Spring, wow it had twelve flowers. OK so its not smothered like Donation normally is, however it always looks very healthy with lush dark green glossy foliage. It was sold in the garden centre as a Japonica seedling. I have decided from now on it will be known as, Camellia Japonica Myra’s Red.
On April 21st we have this attractive trio of shrubs. Viburnum Judii, Camellia Donation and the Rhododendron Taurus. This Viburnum normally fills the air with a heady fragrance in April/early May, this year it has been too cold for it to release its perfume.
Day Lilies can be shy of flowering in some of the colder Summers which we get here in Aberdeen. This unusual form Golden Zebra has yellow/gold blooms, however I like it most of all for the very attractive variegated foliage which it has, looking very fresh in late Spring.
Erythronium Pagoda still looking fabulous in May.
Dont ask me why, but the Pulmonaria had been absent from our garden for a long time. The reintroduction this year with Blue Ensign has rekindled my interest. In future expect to see more of it in our garden, Sissinghurst white I think will be a strong contender.
Dicentra Formosa in the front garden starts blooming in very early Spring, apart from the flowers, just look at those leaves. The form Spectabilis (bleeding heart) may have more elegant arching flowers, however I have a preference for the one above.
© 2012, Alistair. All rights reserved.