Friday, May 06, 2016

Prunus 'Amanogawa'

Now that it's getting on in the season, I was keen to find a cherry tree to photograph on my lunchtime dash into central Swindon, and I was rewarded with this, a Prunus 'Amanogawa' at one end of Commercial Road, somewhat dwarfed by buildings. 

Of course 'Amanogawa' isn't an unusual variety, it's probably the most commonly planted these days, but usually in small private gardens that it would be intrusive to peer at too closely, so I normally only get to see it from a distance. 'Amanogawa' is easy to spot, on account of the unique growth-form and the blossom-colour, which from a distance is the palest of pinks. (Approximately the colour of Common Valerian, or a black cherry yoghurt.)  

'Amanogawa' often seems a rather straggly thing, trying to look like a cherry that's perfect for narrow spaces and not doing a particularly good job of it. It rarely lives up to its hopeful nickname "Lombardy Cherry". It can look anorexic in a low-maintenance front garden , or appropriately skeletal outside the new Care Home. I almost prefer it when it starts to widen out, but that's also when I begin to question if it's such a great choice for a small garden anyway. When 'Amanogawa' widens it's from near the ground (the "trunk" being only a few inches high) so you then lose that space completely. But if you'd chosen e.g. 'Pink Perfection', you'd still be able to put a bench or a baby-buggy under its dappled shade. 

But, with all these strictures, 'Amanogawa' blossom is really marvellous: pink buds, and very pale semi-double flowers, much visited by bees. I wish it was planted more in public places. A small grove of 'Amanogawa' in a park would be a wonderful place to stray through.  

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