22nd October 2010
It is strange that it has taken so long to include this species (and strange that this
is the best picture I can offer). I have enjoyed it for decades and at one time collected
the cultivars enthusiastically. When I moved to this garden, I bought a couple of hundred
year old seedlings to use as tough little shrubs that would protect other plantings from wind damage.
A few of them still remain and are functional if not always attractive. In drier and sunnier
parts of the country it will produce reliable autumn colour, but in the dank shade of my trees
it is less impressive. At the peak of my mania for the species (1981, but who's counting) I planted
a golden one ('Aurea') in my mothers gardens in Essex, where it is still stunning every autumn.