GBBD: Batchelor's Buttons

The most striking feature of the front garden side border at this time of the year is Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora' aka Batchelor's buttons, Jew's mallow or Japanese rose. As you can see it's definitely living up to the 'Pleniflora' part of its name.

I chose this shrub because it's tough as old boots and to brighten up a heavily shaded area. It's repelled footballs with aplomb and flowers for a long period. If it flowered later in the year, it would be too yellow as the harsher light of summer - even in shade - would make it too strident. It's classed as spring flowering, though I have known it to start to bloom as early as December.

Kerria is described as a vigorous shrub and whilst it does sucker, the relatively poor land I've planted it into keeps it in check. The younger stems remain green for quite some time, which helps to retain some interest for most of the year. It reminds me a little of bamboo as the stems stand relatively straight post flowering and I've selectively pruned back some of them so the shrub forms more of a curtain-like screen to form a border with the public land next door.

The RHS description (take the above link) says Kerria's good for a woodland setting. I've placed it right next to the line of trees bordering our property, so for once I've got it right!

What's your most striking plant in your garden this April?

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.


  1. It's lovely, I'm always on the lookout for things that can repel footballs!

  2. I didn't realise that this shrub was called batchelors buttons, what a lovely name. I have one of those in my back garden, they are such a pretty colour.

  3. That is gorgeous :). In my garden there is a few daffoldils flowering and that it is at the moment, there are lots of green shoots so promise of more to come.....

  4. How strange cornflowers, a type of yellow ranunculus and feverfew are also referred to as Bachelors Buttons. I wonder if they are flowers commonly worn in button holes in the past - maybe on dates.

  5. I inherited this when we moved here and I had no idea it was called Bachelor's Buttons - lovely name, thanks for enlightening me! I'm not a huge fan of yellow in the garden but I completely agree with you that it works in the gentler light of spring. I think I'll appreciate it more now I've read your post!

  6. What a glorious sunshine filled shrub VP. My favourite photo of my 20 something niece is of her as a five year old twirling round the garden barefoot with a circlet of kerria flowers on her head. Interesting comment from Sue.

  7. I discovered that shrub only this year, when walking with Wilson in our park. I love the shape of these flowers and the bright colour is so cheering.

  8. That's a real dose of sunshine, I just spent excited minutes scouring the back garden for a space I could put one in, but it wouldn't work for me, guess I will just have to enjoy yours instead!

  9. Hi everyone - glad you've enjoyed my Blooms Day for April :-)

  10. We are just getting going so early bulbs keep coming the daffs and hyacinths are up with hellebores...I had the same Kerria when I had a mostly shady garden. I had it in part shade and it just grew beautifully.


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

Comments aiming to link back and give credence to commercial websites will be composted!

Your essential reads

Wildflower Wednesday: There's an orchid in my lawn!

Merry Christmas!

Unusual Front Gardens #38: Lawnmower

Salad Days: Mastering Lettuce

Happy Easter!

Jack Go To Bed At Noon

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: 'Just Add Cream'

Chelsea Fringe 2014: Shows of Hands - Episode I

Please read if you follow this blog by email

Happy New Year!