Plant of the Month by Martin Fish
Martin Fish is a gardening columnist, broadcaster, speaker, RHS judge and all-round horticulture expert. He writes for publications including Garden Answers, Kitchen Garden and Which? Gardening.
We have worked with Martin closely over a number of years and each month he will be choosing a favourite Plant of the Month for us, with tips and advice for planting and growing in the garden.
Kolkwitzia amabilis “Beauty Bush”
In June there are so many wonderful plants looking at their best it’s difficult to choose just one, but a shrub that I think stands out from the rest is Kolkwitzia amabilis, commonly known as the “Beauty Bush”.
It’s a hardy, deciduous shrub that originates from China and produces pale pink bell-shaped flowers at this time of the year. When established, the branches are weighed down by the pink flowers to create an arching mass of colour.
If allowed to grow it can reach a eventual height and spread of 3 metres (10ft), but with just a little pruning after flowering to remove some of the old wood and to re-shape it, it is perfectly possible to keep it much smaller and still have the natural arching shape.
I grow the cultivar ‘Pink Cloud’ in my garden and this has bright, deep pink flowers that look stunning. I keep it to around 1.8 metres (6ft) tall and wide. It prefers a well-drained soil and full sun to ripen the new growth at the end of the growing season. I’ve included one in all the gardens I’ve planted and every year I look forward to the day when the flowers start to open. It’s a great shrub, easy to grow and certainly lives up to its name of “Beauty Bush.”