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Plant of the week

Double Take Quince

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Maybe you think flowering quince shrubs are only for grandmas and grandpas. They have been a staple in old gardens for at least 50 years. It is about time someone tinkered with them and made them better.

The new Double Take� Series of flowering quince, also known as Chaenomeles or Japanese quince, is one of the first shrubs to blossom, in February, March, or April depending on where you live. It is hardy in zones 5-8. When the flowering quinces are blooming, spring cannot be far behind.

The first thing you notice about the Double Take� series is that the flowers are huge. They boast higher petal counts, in vivid red, pink, and orange tones, and resemble Camellias more than traditional quince.

Double Take �Scarlet Storm� (Chaenomeles speciosa �Scarlet Storm� PPAF) has dark red, velvety double flowers. Double Take �Pink Storm� (Chaenomeles speciosa �Pink Storm� PPAF) has very full blossoms (29-40 petals per flower) that are quite large, up to 2 inches in diameter. Its flowers are shades of salmon or coral and resemble sweetheart roses. Double Take �Orange Storm� (Chaenomeles speciosa �Orange Storm� PPAF) is the show-off of the group with big, bright orange camellia-like double flowers, with 31-49 petals per bloom.

The next thing you will notice is that you can garden around these shrubs. You can site them just about anywhere in sun or part sun. And, you can dig in some daffodils underneath without being bloodied. The old varieties of flowering quince are full of thorns. The Double Take series has been bred to be thornless. A painless flowering quince has been a long time coming.

GardenSMART Featured Article

By Heirloom Roses
Photographs courtesy of Heirloom Roses

In many areas of the country this is an excellent time to prune roses. Although rose pruning may seems daunting, it’s not hard to learn and the results are well worth the effort. For an informative article on rose pruning, click here .

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