Plant of the week: Salix caprea Kilmarnock.

Plant of the week: Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’ is actually a ground cover shrub that does not form a leader. That is, it does not have a stem. Which is hard to believe when you usually see the abundance of weeping branches falling on the sides … of a stem. The Pussy Willow as it’s also known, is a common sight in gardens. The weeping look and small scale of this shrub makes it an attractive addition to smallish green spaces. To achieve this cool look the original shrub has been grafted onto a stem, height can vary. The secret is out, it’s not always you get told the full story when purchasing a plant at the garden centre.

Plant of the week - Plant of the week: Salix caprea Kilmarnock.- Garden Room Style
Beautifully weeping Salix caprea ‘Kilmarnock’.

This plant is best placed in soil which is moist but well–drained. It tolerates acid, alkaline and neutral soil pH values. The recommendation is to position it in full sun. However, there is a specimen outside my front door planted in half-shade. As you can see from the photos, it ‘s doing mighty well there …

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, Salix caprea falls into Pruning group 1. Meaning that it requires little or no pruning and in fact may be spoilt by harder pruning. Having said that, being grafted, there is some pruning information that needs to be told. I will leave that to Rachel the Gardener, her story about guerilla gardening in an industrial estate is rather amusing.