The other day as I updated myself on the blogs I follow, I came across a post by Andrew Keys on his entertaining and informative blog spot called ‘Garden Smackdown’: Plant Review Cage Match: Kolkwitzia

 Andrew is States-side. He writes refreshingly and with humour and irony of plants, literature and music. He is a plantsman and the post above asks why this shrub is not more widely grown.

His post reminded me of having seen one the previous week at Chelsea. I have already blogged about our Chelsea Flower Show trip. As ever it is a ‘must’ to do, but this year it exceeded itself with its crowds and its design ‘shriekery.’

To be honest you just take what you want and run!

And we were running!

We had seen:

in all its brittle abstracted artificiality

got rather closer to our fellow man than we would have liked

and even got uncomfortably close to ourselves!

And suddenly at the end of the Courtyard Gardens, as we emerged from the throng was:

Kolkwitzia amabilis, The Beauty Bush in a fountain of pink loveliness!

The punters beneath didn’t give it a second look.

Too busy working out where to see the next bit of designery stuff.

Part of the shrub framework in Ranelagh Gardens and not brought in for the week it was ignorable!

It got a look when we began photographing it:

But the look at it and at us, was:

What can you want with that?

You can’t do this with it:


what is it with all these lines?

You couldn’t do this with it – well you could clip it but it wouldn’t flower!

It is one of those shrubs than you prune out selected older growths to ground level every few years after flowering in July.

So there you have it –  it needs a little knowledge and it doesn’t fit the current gardening vogue.

It is old fashioned.

Well there is nothing more recyclable than fashion.

The Beauty Bush’s time is yet to come!

Do return to the top and check out Andrew’s Blog. He gives a lot more factual detail than us!