We also had shrubs. There was Azara microphylla with its tiny, yellowish flowers giving off a scent of vanilla and another perfumed shrub, Edgeworthia chrysantha, again with yellowish flowers in a tightly packed spherical head. Salix onusta was exhibited to show its catkins and Buddleja loricata for its evergreen leaves, dark on the upper, much paler on the lower surface, which give the shrub a silver appearance. It comes from southern Africa and flowers earlier than davidii cultivars. There were two cornus, grown for their coloured stems. The first had no name but was described as ‘very, very red’! The second was Cornus ‘Winter Beauty’, which has great winter colour in red and yellow, is a strong grower and makes a nicely-shaped bush.
Just coming into flower were two ribes cultivars. The pale pink one was much admired but, unfortunately, its name is unknown – worth looking out for, though. The other one, Ribes sanguineum ‘White Icicle’, was selected for its white flowers in early spring and blue-black berries in summer. Introduced in 1986 by University of British Columbia Botanical Garden, Canada, it has received an AGM from the RHS and is considered one of the best white flowering currants.
Correas seem to be growing in popularity – we’ve had several on our displays recently and this time had two beautiful specimens. Correa ‘Marian’s Marvel’, with red and yellow flowers, has been blooming continuously since last November and grows to five feet if not pruned. Correa nummularifolia, with yellow flowers, was just coming into flower and is dwarf, growing to one foot and spreading. Correas come from Australia, they have the common name of Australian fuchsia, but we were told that these two are hardy to at least -7ºC. Seeing these plants on our displays has certainly sparked my interest and I’ll be looking into them. Watch this space!