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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Malus x zumi var. calocarpa 'Golden Hornet'

When you only have a small garden plants that perform more than once in a year are particularly valuable and there can't be many that put on a better display than Malus 'Golden Hornet'. In spring the branches almost disappeared under a dense covering of blossom that hummed with bees for about ten days ........

.... and this is the result of their work - a crop of crab apples that's so heavy that it threatens to break the more slender branches. Birds seem to leave these yellow fruits alone until the harder months of winter, when the apples have been softened by frost - and then the blackbirds move in. For most of the last decade the bark of my tree has been disfigured by an infestation of wooly aphids but it seems that last winter's prolonged frost and snow killed them. There's a lot to be said for the occasional really hard winter; this year the tree was pest-free