Plant of the Month – October 2011

Today, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the star of Tesco carparks across the country, winner of an RHS Award of Garden Merit and quiet stalwart of many a suburban garden. I give you….

Cotoneaster horizontalis!

Cotoneaster horizontalis

Herringbone branches make interesting traceries in Winter and little pinkish flowers appear in Spring but Autumn is when Cotoneaster horizontalis really shines as its tiny glossy green leaves turn a deep crimson and it carries cheerful red berries.

Cotoneaster horizontalis

It’s a deciduous, hardy shrub which loves some sun and can cope with a dryish spot at the bottom of a wall, against which the shapes of the branches can be appreciated. It can be kept withinin bounds with some pruning in early Spring if necessary but be careful not to lose the lovely shape of the twigs!

Cotoneaster horizontalis detail

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9 responses to “Plant of the Month – October 2011

  1. I always wondered what it was (not from looking at it at Tesco’s!!!) I think it gives a cheerful feeling to a dull area so it’s absolutely everywhere at our school 🙂

  2. I agree – mine is looking particularly stunning this year; laden with berries, and contrasting beautifully with a Choisya ‘Goldfingers’.

  3. You’ve almost sold cotoneaster to me…..almost…

  4. I just can’t like it. By chance, I’ve been trying – because all the cotoneasters round here seem to have extra-many berries this year and are very noticeable so I really have been trying to appreciate them. But all the time when they have no berries they’re . . .

    I sometimes like verticalis (probably invented that word!) but sprawlicalis would be a good name for ground cover ones.

    The plant in your top photo looks neat and restrained and very pleasant but, more often, cotoneaster is used to fill vast urban spaces.

    I think you are very noble to try to win us over (those who need winning).

    I’m trying . . .

    • I think you should feel free to like or dislike whichever plants you want! 🙂 I gave it a good hack back a couple of years ago and just take out bits that are starting to encroach in Spring (or whenever I notice and have secateurs on hand). They aren’t the most exciting of things when ther berries aren’t out but for me at those times they just fade neatly into background-iness.

  5. I have been thinking about trying cotoneaster for years because I love the berries. Maybe I’ll give it a shot.

  6. Excellent choice! I have also been thinking of adding it to my garden. I have seen it in many gardens and admired it for quite a while. It certainly seems as if it would be a mainstay in any garden.

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