In praise of Coronillas
Do you have a coronilla in your garden? If the answer is in the negative take my advice and acquire at least one of these truly charming shrubs.
Coronillas for the most part are good tempered, easily managed beautiful shrubs which bloom throughout the winter months and some - for example, Coronilla valentina subsp. glauca 'Citrina' - almost in every month of the year.
I have four varieties in my garden: a plain leaved bright yellow pea-flowered one; the above mentioned 'Citrina' which has pale lemon flowers; C. valentina subsp. glauca 'Variegata' with delicate variegated leaves, which is pretty enough without the yellow flowers; and C. valentina subsp. glauca 'Creamed Corn', in which the new leaves are cream. This is my latest acquisition.
All these shrubs are hardy once established with the probable exception of the variegated species although mine is still surviving in spite of the harsh weather we have been having.
If the shrubs have any faults there is a tendency to send out long, rather thin floppy branches, but they do not seem to mind being trimmed into order and bloom on regardless.
An added bonus is that the flowers are scented as many winter flowering shrubs are. So far I have not found them prone to any pests or diseases. They prefer a fairly sunny site but mine seem to be flourishing in a semi-shaded spot squashed in with other shrubs and plants. They do not seem to be fussy about soil and dont mind a bit of neglect, so all in all, they are totally garden worthy. No wonder some of them have Awards of Garden Merit.
I have found coronillas fairly easy to obtain in the Buckingham area and although not as often seen in garden centres as they deserve, enquiry will usually result in them being found. The RHS Plant Finder has a good list of suppliers too, so go ahead and help to popularise this very desirable shrub.
First published in the Bucks & Oxon Group Newsletter, Spring 2009
and subsequently in Cornucopia Issue 26.
© Copyright for this article: Margaret Doble
This article was taken from a copy of Cornucopia that was published in 2010. You could be reading these articles as they are published to a national audience, by subscribing to Cornucopia.