Tag Archives: Shrubs

Blackthorn blossom

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

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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.

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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 :

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Also decked in bright yellow flowers was a Mahonia japonica :

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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!