After the show was over (below) an exhibitor had left these dogwood stems. With their brightly coloured stems they have a lot of winter value. They are often planted in big stands by water where their colour can be reflected, and in parks - and car parks! Amenity planting uses them a lot as they are robust.
I was delighted to see them come into leaf, especially as early glimmers of spring were soon swamped by cold grey earlier this month. The baby leaves really are the fresh green of spring.
The varieties are: Cornus alba 'Sibirica' (red stems), and Cornus sericea 'Flaviramea' (chartreuse). These suckering shrubs also provide pleasant greenery, white flowers and small fruits the rest of the year, c 3m x 3m. Another favourite is Cornus sanguinea 'Winter Beauty' (stems gradated red through orange and yellow), and Cornus sericea 'Kelseyi' (green and red at the top).
I'm a grower, gardener and qualified designer living and working in South London. I teach horticulture at Capel Manor College, at their site in Regent's Park, and I coordinate the volunteers of Garden Organic's South London Master Gardener programme.
Please visit my business website to find out about how the garden design and horticulture training services I offer - vivekagardens.com
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