Plant of the month: The wind-proof ‘Pink Elle’

Does your garden have a bit of a wind problem? Yeah, I’m the same, but that’s enough about that..! Windy, exposed gardens can be very awkward spots to plant up. Let alone getting the plant to establish, most plants can’t cope with the constant battering of chilly winds. What you need is a wind-proof plant, and we don’t mean putting anoraks onto our existing plants.. Choose Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’ and it will bravely face those winds without a care in the world…


Escallonia Pink Elle

Tough doesn’t have to mean ugly

Escallonia are often used as amenity shrubs, so you’ll often see them planted onto roundabouts or along sidewalks. This is really the ultimate accolade for any plant, as it really means it can cope with everything; pollution from traffic, kids trampling on the plants, unpredictable weather conditions, and so much more. The pretty pink flowers of Escallonia are quite unsung as well. However, the blossoming beauty and growing prowess of ‘Pink Elle’ will really make you think twice about your choice of ‘tough shrubs’…


Escallonia Pink Elle

What’s different about this plant?

Escallonia have always been known as great landscaping plants, but were often seen as the ‘ugly sister’, and certainly never planted as a specimen plant. They were always planted where they weren’t intended to be noticed and never expected to be decorative, only functional.
‘Pink Elle’ is certainly not an ugly sister, it’s more like cinderella, and she shall come to the ball! Sprays of pretty pink flowers with an apple blossom effect appear in the summer, and then again in the autumn, and are bigger than the usual Escallonia sprays. This is one showy plant!


Escallonia Pink Elle

How was this plant created?

The wonderful ‘Pink Elle’ was found in Brittany by nurseryman Ludovic Ladan. His nursery is located near the Pointe du Raz, an unforgiving coastal location on the very tip of France, and a spot where New York is the next city to the west..
To say the least, this is a windy exposed spot, and the nursery needs hedging to act as a windbreak against the elements. Ludovic planted a range of different Escallonia as part of an informal hedge, and soon some seedlings were popping up along the pathways in the nursery, thanks to Mother Nature!
These seedlings started to represent something very different; more resilient plants, which didn’t look gnarled and rough, but actually pretty and delicate, yet they were living in such hostile conditions… Ludovic took some cuttings and the plant soon went for trial, and many people were shocked at the flowering performance of those plants. The plants were also remarkably disease resistant. Ludovic knew he has something very different..
Escallonia Pink Elle
Where can you plant Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’?
The chunky habit of ‘Pink Elle’ works as a standalone plant, in the border or in a lovely patio pot. Of course, plants also knit together well to create a dense hedge. Plants are windproof, tough and resilient, untroubled by pests and diseases. Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’ can grow in sun or light shade and on most soils. Pruning is a simple light trim after flowering each year.
Escallonia Pink Elle
Where can you buy this plant?
It’s great news for gardeners and urban plant lovers that Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’ has been awarded that ‘Gardening Oscar’, the RHS Award of Garden Merit! Plants are available in garden centres across Europe, or by mail order here
How to grow Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’:

 

Flowering time: June to July, and September
Location: Hedging, patio pots, borders
Soil: Moist, but well-drained
Light: Sun or light shade, happiest in sun
Hardy: Survives down to -15C! Plant will come back every year.
Care: Very easy pruning, just trim as needed, after flowering
Size: 120cm (48”) high x 90cm (36″) in spread
Plant of the Month is sponsored by Plantipp, a company based in The Netherlands who handle the introduction of new plants into Europe (with Concept Plants doing the same job in North America).
**Gentle Warning: this post may be sponsored or include affiliate links, however please be assured that any products spoken about have the Plant Geek seal of approval.**

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