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Flowering Quince

A flowering shrub for your spring garden that’s easy, tough, and colorful. While they are cousins to the edible quince, these are used for their flowers rather than their fruits. (If you are so inclined, though, the small fruits can be cooked and sweetened for making preserves or jellies.) Simple white, peach, scarlet or pinkish flowers open before the leaves have fully appeared. Stems are often thorny, so the plants also make good security barriers. (If you desire neither fruits nor thorns, the Double Take™ group of flowering quince are for you.) Since they can be bland shrubs when not in flower, use them as the backdrop to a planting that has other flower and foliage interest as spring progresses so they can be a simple green backdrop to more interesting compositions in front. Great tolerance for drought makes them happy companions of other dry-garden plants such as Sedum and other succulents, Yucca, Juniper, perennials such as Candytuft (Iberis), Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox), Russian Sage (Perovskia), Little Bluestem (Schizachrium scoparium), and many of the herbs such as Lavender, Thyme or Rosemary.  Cut a couple stems for forcing an early indoor bouquet or cut them back more harshly every several years to refresh them if needed (after flowering).

by Miri Talabac, Woody Plant Buyer

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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