Flowering now

What isn’t flowering now? The garden is in full swing (although the recent hot weather is probably cutting short the rose display) and the weeds are sprouting overnight.

I have a clump of Dietes grandiflora that was shifted out of the new garden before redevelopment and is still sitting in a clump against the fence, not even heeled in, and is again flowering. They are graceful, elegant plants with pretty flowers that come out in succession on the long stems … and I really must find a permanent home for them. This South African native is drought and generally frost tolerant and grows from seed quite easily in our climate.


The iris-like flowers of Dietes grandiflora. Photo: Sandra Simpson

There are six members of the family – Dietes bicolour is the yellow form, which I don’t care for particularly.

I had more or less decided to give the weeping crabapple in the back corner of the garden the chop – it never flowers very well despite having a label that said Malus Red Jade covered itself in flowers.

Mind you, I wasn’t very impressed when we bought it as the garden centre staff (it later closed) showed minimal interest in being helpful or indeed in serving anyone. Perhaps that frustration transferred itself to the tree. Red Jade was the first weeping crabapple, developed in 1933, so might have been superseded by improved hybrids.

This year I gave it a haircut on the garden side as an experiment after having seen a hard-pruned ornamental cherry is a garden. Dan calls it his “umbrella tree” and that’s just what it looks like so I thought I would give it a go too and simply chopped the weeping branches back to the same length all round.

We had the usual sporadic blossoming in the spring but the tree has suddenly had a second flowering and has big trusses of blossom in amongst the leaves!


Malus Red Jade – a second, better blossoming. Photo: Sandra Simpson

And I’ve always wondered why it’s called “Red Jade” when the flowers are basically white! Seems like false advertising to me …

Find some good information on crabapple trees here.


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