One of the things I love about gardening is the thrill of anticipation. While I’m not immune to the instant gratification of an immediate make-over, nothing quite beats going out every day to see how a favourite plant is doing, watching tiny growth each day, waiting for the moment when the ever fattening buds will burst.
This anticipation is particularly true of Amelanchier lamarckii, of which I have two multi-stemmed specimens in my garden. The best thing about this plant is the way it captures light (a hot topic of mine, which you might have noticed from previous posts!). The flowers, which were just opening when I took these photos a couple of days ago, are a dazzlingly bright white, which contrast brilliantly with the copper coloured leaves. The leaves don’t stay copper, but turn a bright green after opening (and scarlet, albeit fleetingly, in autumn), and the white flowers are followed by black berries that the birds relish.
I was in two minds whether to try to grow Amelanchier, as my soil is alkaline and generally Amelanchier’s prefer a lime-free soil. But I saw one growing, surprisingly, on a verge near me, and so thought it worth a try. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s light chalky soils that they don’t like, and that they’ll cope ok with an alkaline soil so long as it’s clay.