Cornus Alba Sibirica just the shrub to brighten up the Winter Garden in Aberdeen
Here we are in January, a case of just trying to keep the garden tidy. Not much going on, in fact the only plant that jumps out at you is the Cornus Alba Sibirica. See how red these stems are. We only have the one shrub in the main border of the back garden can you imagine how much more striking this would be with several of them, or for that matter how about a sweeping swathe of them going up your winding driveway (dream on)
Cornus Alba Sibirica is fully hardy in Scotland, well I guess the name of the shrub would tell you this much. These red stems are the result of hard pruning every Spring. If you leave the shrub to its own devices this effect will be greatly diminished as it is only the current years growth that produces such results.
I haven’t as yet mentioned that the common name for Cornus is Dogwood it also occurred to me that I have no idea why this should be. Seems there are a few suggestions here is what Wikipedia has to say.
The picture below gives an idea as to how Cotinus Alba Sibirica stands out in the border in the Winter months. It also lets you see just how much better it would look if there were even three of these shrubs planted, don’t you agree?
• Description — This shrub is mainly grown for Winter interest, the red stems are extremely striking. Small white rather insignificant flowers develop in June. White tinged blue berries are said to appear in Autumn although I have never seen these develop in our Aberdeen garden. Cornus Alba Sibirica has been given the RHS award of garden merit.
• Height — 150cm/5ft Spread 80cm/2ft 9″
• Position — For best Winter colour plant in full sun
• Soil — Will grow in most conditions acid/alkaline
• Hardiness — Fully hardy
• Pruning — Cut back hard to just about three inches above ground level in early Spring, I do this first or second week in March. Or if you wish to have them a little taller you can create a framework cutting them back to about 18 inches from ground level (pollard) cut back to this level each Spring.
• — Mail order
And now for a little of the too frequent trivia that comes into my mind .
At this time of year I often get around to thinking Of McIntosh Red Apples from Canada and North America, and also Jaffa Oranges from Israel.
Why should these every day pieces of fruit come to mind, well generally because they haven’t been available in the UK for the past ten years or so.
I remember Christmas parties which were organized for children in the 1950s, on going home we were always presented with a bag of goodies which usually contained a Mcintosh Red Apple and a Jaffa orange from Israel.
Moving on to 1975 Myra and I opened a general store, well in the first couple of years it was actually a green grocer. When early December arrived we would be flooded with those rosy red apples arriving from the USA and Canada and at much the same time the Jaffas would arrive from Israel.
The Mac Red was first discovered by John Mcintosh living in Ontario Canada in 1796. The first Jaffa Oranges to arrive in the shops were the Navels and a few weeks later the best of them named jaffa Shamouti would be eagerly awaited..
I don’t eat enough fruit these days and although I am not exactly in my dotage most apples are now too hard for my teeth. The Mac Reds have softer flesh, and although Wikipedia describe them as being tart, too my taste buds they were as sweet as honey. I miss the Jaffa Shamouti oranges equally and think no other one can compare.
Why on earth would the best loved fruits no longer be available in this country, I would love to know if you have the answer. Could it be political? Does it have something to do with the EU or Common market as it was known when we joined up to it? I know with experience that it has nothing to do with the public having found a dislike for the produce.
One of the biggest superstores in Scotland is Asda which a few years ago was bought over by Walmart, the American giant, so come on lets get some of your apples back in this country.
© 2013, Alistair. All rights reserved.