When seeing plant of the week – Chaenomeles japonica in the autumn the first thing you notice is the large, yellow, apple-like fruit. If you look down that is. This plant reaches around 1 metre after 5-10 years and the fruit is often gathered towards the bottom. The fruit stands out, looking rather out of place, perhaps better suited to a tree? It actually has a scent as well. Edible it is too, perfect for making jelly. In spring the shrub sits in a cloud of red-orange, various pink hues or white perky blooms growing in clusters. Lots of things going on here.
The fruit of plant of the week – Chaenomeles japonica in close proximity to a Taxus shrub.
Commonly known as Japanese quince, for all its good qualities also has thorns, however. Better mind those. It has a wide, bushy habit thus lending itself to being trained against a wall or the like. The leaves are smooth, bright green with an ovate shape and roughly toothed. I reckon they have a cheerful appearance. When taking these photos a little girl walking past asked what I was doing, possibly seeing the silly smile on my face.
As the name implies this plant originates from Japan. Being low maintenance, requiring little pruning, it can be used in a variety of ways in a garden design scheme. I’ve already mentioned it works well being trained against a wall. It can also be used as a hedge, the thorns will put off unwanted intruders, yet providing a stunning look. Another option is to combine two different colours in informal cottage garden borders. Considering its fabulous blooms, it stands out as a solitaire.