Mary, Mary Quite Contrary

Couple of Quince questions:

How many years from planting to fruit, and do they need a pollinator tree?

i) 3 or 4 years for my whip. May be quicker if you can get a pot-grown bigger specimen, but bare-rrots need to devote energy into proper in-situ rooting.

ii) self-fertile so no.

Many thanks - 3 to 4 years sounds good. Seeing as I’m 61 I appreciate a tree that gets it’s act together sooner rather than later!

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Actually on GQT t’other day I was quite surprised when they gave the opinion that a smaller bare root tree would establish more quickly than a larger pot grown tree. Over about a three year time frame the smaller bare root tree would overtake the larger tree. They were comparing a bare root tree of about 18" to 2’ and a pot grown tree of about 4’. I can’t remember the variety they were talking about but the discussion of bare root versus pot was made in very general terms.

Few years ago taught myself to graft … you can buy rootstocks and then cut wood when pruning or trade wood with others … I made over 30 cider apple trees … planted a small orchard and gave some away …. It’s the cheapest way to grow trees …. There’s some great Welsh named varieties …. Rogers sells a huge number of apples
£3.60 for a rootstock or £38 for a two yr old




Our Daphne Bholua is out to play - a sign of winter nearer the end than the beginning.

Love all the various Daphnes, I do & grow a lot of them, I do - amazing plants for their flowers and their gorgeous perfume. There’s hardly a part of the year where we haven’t got at least one kind of Daphne doing its thing for us :~}

Various bulbs peeping through now too; whisper it, but Spring is coming!

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Wonderful plants, @crocos . Also their hybrids “Spring promise” and “Spring beauty”.

You see D. bholua about a bit more these days - finding any given form used to be a real red-letter day about ten years ago. I understand there has been some dedicated micropropagation done to get it back in circulation, especially the form called “Jacqueline Postill”. Fantastic scent.

Do you have any experience with the yellow-flowered Chinese species?

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Interesting question @Ghost-of-Mr-Tallis - we’ve actually got two different yellow Chinese ones, and while they’re lovely plants with good flowers etc, they just don’t seem to have anything of that gorgeous pungent smell about them. The bees enjoy them so that’s enough for me, but when I do get more, it’s the pink / white ones I go for.

For all the different varieties about the place these days, I still think it’s hard to beat the classic transatlantica ones; depth of smell and longevity of flowering being the thing for me personally.

Have you got any of the yellow Chinese ones yourself?

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like @crocos I have a number of daphnes which do well, bholua, tangutica, alpina etc, plus several of the new variegated cultivars and some dwarf alpine ones. The bholua self-seeds happily ! I kept a yellow-flowered one going through last winter but it succumbed to the drought last summer despite its situation in a shady well mulched bed. All the others were fine. And no it didn’t have any perfume so I shan’t bother trying again.

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I have one - it’s a hybrid between D. amoena and something else - possibly D. calcicola. It does have a scent though not particularly strong. I ask particularly as the first people to try these things reportedly found them very hard to keep going. I grow mine outside and it’s no trouble at all. So I was wondering if it was just a feature of this one, or possibly that the earlier ones hated being coddled in alpine houses (a real risk).

I agree - Eternal Fragrance is probably the best though I do like Pink Fragrance - both Robin White hybrids I seem to recall.