IN MY GARDEN, there are a number of perennials which I consider “perfect,” because they demand so little attention from me. Take, for instance, the flowering quince pictured above. This self-sufficient Chaenomelis x superba ‘Crimson & Gold’ thrives in full sun and average soil. It tolerates drought well, and attracts nary a pest. The plant never fails to steal the show in April, when hundreds of yellow-stamened, ravishing-red blossoms emerge on its weeping, 3-foot form. But that’s only the beginning of its long and lavish performance:
By the time the flowers fade, superba covers itself with sparkling, green leaves, which persist until the first hard frost of autumn. This is the time when large, golden-skinned fruit is revealed. The fruit, which turns pink when boiled, is prized by cooks, for it makes a splendid, tart jelly. And if you leave the fruit on the shrub, as I do, it makes a gourmet feast for wintering birds.
You might like this drought-tolerant, pest- and disease-free flowering quince for your garden, too. It is, I assure you, a perfect perennial.
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