Shrubs? What do you imagine when you hear that word? Huge, scruffy specimens, kinda green, bit boring… Certainly not something you’d give a patio home to…
Well, think again, Deutzia are not only the unsung hero of the shrub world, but new British-bred ‘Raspberry Sundae’ is patio pot-sized too! The plant was selected at Lowaters Nursery, an innovative nursery growing and selecting in peat-free compost, and with environmentally friendly production techniques. Their speciality is shrubs for both amenity planting and home gardens. But, amenity doesn’t have to mean unattractive..
As a plant, Deutzia are fairly new to gardens, not seen in Europe until the 1830s, by which time many other shrubs were well established. Most species are native to China, and their delicate blooms are certainly useful for creating Oriental style gardens where detail is king. Named after the 18th century Dutch patron of botany, Johann van der Deutz, there’s an increased interest in them for their form and fragrance.
How was Deutzia ‘Raspberry Sundae’ created?
During 2014, Lowaters were investigating shrubs that could be grown in patio containers, not just for a few years, but for a lifetime. They took the intriguing Deutzia ‘Magicien’, with striped decorative flowers, but an ungainly 2 metre height, and combined it with tongue-twisting Deutzia setchuenensis var corymbifolia. However, hybridising shrubs is a lengthy project, and takes patience.
After many years of waiting, the offspring bloomed, and the breeding team could assess the habits. One ace plant stood out from the rest, with a height limiting itself to just a metre. This would be welcomed by people who wanted the durability of a shrub, but can’t find the space for one! The stock was build up using hardwood cuttings, and it was soon real to launch on the garden centre bench!
Where can you plant Deutzia ‘Raspberry Sundae’?
Deutzia ‘Raspberry Sundae’ is a remarkable shrub with a height and width of no more than 1 metre! The fragrant blooms deserve inspection up close, as they are striped like a humbug! Plants have arching stems, cloaked in blossom from April to July, and you’ll be able to grow it in sun or shade. Though not evergreen, the autumn foliage goes out with a bang, as it turns shades of auburn.
Where can you buy this plant?
Plants are available in garden centres across Europe, or by mail order from Thompson & Morgan in the UK.
How to grow Deutzia ‘Raspberry Sundae’:
Flowering time: April to July
Location: Borders, patio pots
Soil: Any moist, well-drained soil
Light: Sun or partial shade
Hardy: Survives down to -15C!
Care: Prune after flowering, just to keep shape and tidy up!
Size: 90cm (36”) 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). Deutzia ‘Raspberry Sundae’ was selected by Lowaters Nurseries in the UK.
It can actually be quite easy to spot new plants, as nature often does the breeding work for you! Natural variation is referred to as a ‘sport’, or you may find a new hybrid has appeared in your garden by itself. To hunt down these new plants, it’s all about noticing differences. Make sure you take time out to get to know the plants in your garden, and if any seem different to the norm, let me know!
See every Plant of the Month here.