A member of the rose family, the cotoneaster bursts into life in May and early June with a profusion of white or pale-pink, flat-petalled blooms, which bees love. With their long-lasting, prolific berries, they are also among the most useful fruiting shrubs in autumn, attractive both to humans and to birds.
“On these debatable borders of the year, spring’s foot half falters;
Scarce she yet may know the leafless blackthorn blossom from the snow”
~ Dante Gabriel Rossetti
The delicate blossom of the blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) appear like a ghostly mist spreading across the still bare hedgerows.
“the hedge’s a bridal robe of white fragrance”
~ Thomas Hardy
A symbol of fertility the blackthorn branches were burned and its ashes spread over the fields of our ancestors to ensure a profitable harvest.
A good choice for a small plot, this handsome tree is compact in size and works hard for its place in the garden by putting on shows of blossom, fruit and autumn leaf colour. Usually grown as a multi-stemmed specimen, it enjoys a sunny or partially shaded spot in moist soil. White blooms decorate the branches in early spring and are followed later in the season by purple fruits. In early autumn, the dark green leaves turn vivid shades of gold before falling. BBC Gardening