Chaenomeles – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
Gardeners will always refer to this shrub as the ‘Japonica’, so deep-rooted is this old name. It is usually seen trained as a wall shrub, 8-10 feet tall, occasionally more, and it will cover a fairly wide area if it is properly looked after.
If it is grown in this way, someis absolutely essential to control the vigour of the plant development and to keep it from straggling. Basically the pruning consists of cutting away any forward-pointing branches as well as any very thin growths that are produced. Cutting back the new side-growths to 5 or 6 inches is also necessary, unless they are needed as extensions or to fill in a blank space on the wall. This is done during the summer and should be combined with tying in the new growths to nails set in the wall or on to any other support such as trellis-work or the side of an out-building or garden shed.
The 1-1/2 inch wide , produced on the leafless stems from January onwards, until May or June, are very attractive. Good colour forms are ‘Apple Blossom’, nivalis, white, atrococcinea, deep crimson, cardinalis, salmon-pink, and rosea flore-pleno, which is a rose-pink, double variety.
All these plants are varieties of Chaenomeles speciosa, which is also known as Chaenomeles lagenaria and Cydonia japonica. Apart from their use on walls the different varieties may be grown as open-ground shrubs, when less pruning is needed. They may also be used forpurposes but if this is the case they will need cutting back to keep them tidy and to prevent them from becoming too open.
Whatever variety is chosen, none require any specialmedium and will grow well on chalk. Oddly-shaped fruits, like those of the related quinces are very often produced and may be used for making such things as quince jelly.