Nelson Leader : October 10th 2013
24 THE NELSON LEADER, OCTOBER 10, 2013 GARDENING/PUZZLES among the most beautiful of early spring-flowering shrubs. As I went up the garden to Japonica a member of rose family C By STEPHEN MCCARTHY ommonly known as Japonica, Chaenomeles speciosa and its garden forms are adjust our rather odd water supply I spied, struggling in the tangle of hydrangeas and camellias in the older part of our garden, a lovely deep blood-red flowered specimen, named Rowallane after the famous Irish garden. The flowers are simple and have a central boss of gold stamens. The flowers of japonica were used as inspiration for designs on Japanese pottery – we have an old blue and white ginger jar with a Chaenomeles flower pattern. Joseph Banks introduced the shrub to Britain at the end of the 18th century. Often called the flowering quince or Japanese quince, they belong to the rose family and are native of the high altitude woodlands of Japan and China where they put on a wonderful early display of red, pink or white flowers. In cultivation the flower colour extends to cream and salmon. There are many garden cul- tivars of Chaenomeles from dwarf almost prostrate shrubs to large upright ones of up to three metres, with the larger specimens making a very attractive informal hedge. There are also double-flowered varieties. The flowers usually appear before the leaves on the previous Beautiful Japonica: Flowers of Chaenomeles speciosa ‘‘Rowallane’’. Photo: STEPHEN MCCARTHY. Heat treatment: Like quinces, year’s wood. They usually have five petals and are cup-shaped and appear singly or in small clusters. They often produce small apple- shaped fruit that are a goldenyellow colour containing redbrown seeds. The fruits are very hard, astringent and unpleasant to eat raw, but they are good for making jellies. My mother-in-law makes japon- ica jelly for eating with mutton or as a base for mint jelly. Japonica jellies set more easily than many other fruits as they contain more pectin than apples and true quinces. The fruit contains more vitamin C than lemons and is used by the Chinese to treat arthritis and calf muscle cramps. Japonicas are exceedingly hardy, standing very hard frosts, and very disease resistant, making them very easy-care shrubs apart from a light pruning to keep their shape. They prefer a welldrained moderately fertile soil and a position in the full or half sun. They can be trained against a wall as espaliers or fans. Most japonicas freely produce laterals and sub-laterals without the need to stop the main shoots. These need training to complete the basic framework. Only a few flowers are produced during the first year or two. After flowering in spring of the second year you will need to trim off long shoots unless they are needed to fill gaps in the framework then late summer pruning to encourage CROSSWORD TOP 10 YOUR STARS THE TOP 10 1. Which famous sailing ship was badly damaged by fire at Greenwich, London in 2007? 2. Which fabulous bird arose from its own ashes? 3. The song ‘There is nothing like a dame’ is from which musical? 4. In which US national park is the Old Faithful geyser? 5. Alchemists thought what substance would turn base metals to gold and keep people young forever? 6. How many lines are there in a limerick? 7. Who appeared in the 1976 films Taxi Driver and Bugsy Malone, at age 13? 8. Which sport was described by Mark Twain as “a good walk spoiled”? 9. In what year did New Zealand’s first women police officers begin work - 1926, 1942 or 1955? 10. What is the fastest-swimming bird? SUDOKU japonica ‘‘apples’’ are inedible raw but boiled make an interesting jelly. next year’s flowering. Japonica is also useful for bon- sai because of their small bright flowers, and in spite of their prickly thorns. To flower profusely it must get a good chilling and must feel the seasons changing so some time must be spent outdoors. They are most commonly styled in the informal upright style although some people prefer them as tight clumps. The books say that Japonica can be grown from softwood cuttings taken in the spring but I have had no luck with them. I have had better results from planting suckers which often occur plentifully around the base In the jar: Japonica jelly, ready to eat. of an established plant. These should be severed with a sharp spade and replanted in damp soil well before the new growth starts in the spring. We have seen japonica for sale on Trade Me, as cuttings and as potted plants. With the demise of so many garden centres this may be the way to go. NZ CROSSWORD 1 Cutty Sark, 2 The phoenix, 3 South Pacific, 4 Yellowstone National Park, 5 Philosopher’s stone, 6 Five, 7 Jodie Foster, 8 Golf, 9. 1942, 10 Penguin.
October 3rd 2013
October 17th 2013