Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Friday, 27 February 2015

Unusual Front Gardens #21: Cotoneaster

Photo of 3 cotoneaster shrubs clothing a building on Corsham High Street

When your door opens directly onto Corsham High Street and you have very little space for planting, how on earth do you have a front garden?

Close-up of the cotoneaster showing leaves and berries
I'm not quite sure which species -
C. franchetii perhaps?
The solution in this instance is to go vertical and clothe your house with an evergreen plant. When I was writing my post on Pyracantha last year, I remembered this place and sallied forth to photograph it as an example of how the shrub could be used. It was only when I went to take a close-up photo of the plant that I found it was Cotoneaster, not Pyracantha. Durrrr.

However, whatever plant it is, I think it still adds interest to the building. It'll provide some extra insulation for the cottage it clothes and the spring flowers will be a magnet for bees.

It's amazing to see what can be done with just 3 plants, though I'm itching to clip it into some kind of shape. I see the beginnings of some rabbits leaping along the top there, don't you?

A parade of pushchairs go past a house clad in Cotoneaster in Corsham, Wiltshire

22 comments:

  1. At first glance I thought it had been clipped into a shape so I guess it wouldn't take much to make it so. Is the for sale sign on that particular house of next door? Maybe you could buy it?!

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    1. It was for sale when I took the photo last year - I have no idea if it's sold yet. Sadly it's not the right house for us, though I'd love to move back to Corsham.

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  2. Replies
    1. They do. Corsham High Street has an unusual feature - peacocks from Corsham Court. It makes a visit there quite exciting!

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    2. Such beautiful birds but a pity their voices don't match their feathers,

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  3. Yes, I'm definitely getting rabbits. I love to see planting in such tiny spaces. I remember Monty Don admiring the tiniest little gardens outside houses in Japan, they were exquisite, complete with miniature ponds. And I recently saw yew growing outside houses in Painswick, out of a really small gap in the pavement. I can really recommend you go and have a look if you're ever that way, they're lovely. I posted a couple of pictures of them if you'd like to see, they're photos 13 and 14 in this post http://cjabovetheriver.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/built-on-wool.html

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    Replies
    1. I've been to Painswick a couple of times to see the snowdrops at Painswick Rococo Gardens. I love the quirky yews in the village churchyard (which I've also blogged about - http://vegplotting.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/painswick-yews.html for the churchyard and http://vegplotting.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/garden-visit-snow-on-snow-at-painswick.html for the snowdrops).
      I'll have a look out for your favourite the next time I'm there :)

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    2. Lovely posts VP, you've reminded me what a beautiful place the rococo gardens is. I'd love to visit again one day.

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  4. I love Corhsam high street, it's like stepping back in time.

    There is a hedge here in Chippenham where the owners are obviously huge pig fans because it's been shaped into various pigs including a Peppa pig head. Fabulous. Certainly adds more interest to modern housing estate that's for sure :)

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    Replies
    1. OMG where? I must see this!

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    2. It's on Sandown drive, just up from the island by Sainburys petrol station. It's a semi house on the right hand side (if you're travelling away from Sainsburys).

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    3. Ooh I wonder if it's the same place I photographed previously for this series. I must go and have a look...

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  5. Yes, I can see rabbits! It must take quite some time to keep it so neatly trimmed, definitely better than a bare wall.

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    1. It's the only house on the street that has it Pauline. I'm surprised some of the others haven't followed suit, though the HSBC bank has a grapevine outside. I must add that to the series!

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  6. Gorgeous photos, what a stunning place to live x

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    1. Thanks Josie and welcome to Veg Plotting :-)

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  7. This is perfect for small spaces...I've tried evergreen Rhus spp. as espaliers in a tight side area, but moved before it matured, or the new owner didn't follow through. The first photo is perfect of the classic English gentleman...even the 3 orange vested people w/ baby strollers (called "yuppies" in the US).

    My guess is Cotoneaster lacteus or C. parneyi...

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    Replies
    1. Espalliers would work well too - great idea. Thanks for the ID thoughts - I'd discounted lacteus, but will have a look at parneyi.

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  8. Why are those buggy pushers wearing Hi-Vis jackets - is this the Health & Safety version of childminders in the outdoors?

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    Replies
    1. Hello and welcome. I've seen teachers in Hi vis when they're out with their classes, so I guess you're right

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