Tag Archives: Shrubs

Blackthorn blossom

Here’s a photo of Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) in flower on St.Ann’s Allotments…..


Blackthorn is one of the earliest-flowering of our common shrubs, and its blossom is traditionally held to coincide with a spell of cold spring weather known as the “Blackthorn Winter”.  It does seem that the exceptionally wet, windy and warm winter has changed to a dryer, colder, calmer weather pattern recently.

Thanks yet again to Nic Cairns for the photo.


Winter flowers at Ecoworks

Today the Ecoworks Community Garden on the Hungerhill Allotments in St. Ann’s was displaying some handsome winter-flowering shrubs.  One was Cornus mas, the Cornelian Cherry :


Also decked in bright yellow flowers was a Mahonia japonica :


Neither of these two shrubs is native – Cornelian Cherry grows wild in France, and is naturalised in places in the UK, whilst Mahonia japonica is a garden plant native to Asia.  Although native species are generally most valuable for wildlife, winter-flowering shrubs such as these have a valuable role to play as early nectar sources for insects which have become active in mild weather in January – and with the climate increasingly unpredictable, this is an important function.  They look great too!