Plant of the Month by Martin Fish
COTONEASTER ‘JOHN WATERER’
If you are looking for a large shrub or small evergreen tree that looks good all year round, then look no further than Cotoneaster x watereri ‘John Waterer’. It’s fully hardy, fairly fast to establish and only grows to around 5m when grown as a tree, making it ideal for gardens or all sizes. Being evergreen, it very handy in a position where you want cover through the year. As a shrub it makes bushy growth, but I prefer to see it grown as a tree with a clear trunk and its arching branches that form a good-shaped head. The dark green, glossy foliage is a feature on its own and remains on the tree throughout the year. Although an evergreen, it can lose some foliage in a very cold winter, but fresh new leaves grow back in spring. In late spring large clusters of white flowers are produced, which the bees and other pollinating insects are attracted to. The plump berries that follow ripen to a rich red in autumn and remain on the tree through winter and for me this is when the tree is at its best. On a bright winter’s day, the berries shine like jewels, but equally, they brighten up the garden and add colour and interest on a dull day.
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.