Certain plants we take for granted – and pyracantha is one of them. But they are coming into flower right now, and what a terrific job they make of it, even if the dull cream flowers are not in themselves appealing (at least, not to me), especially as the infinitely more glamorous roses are just beginning.

Pyracanthas are a froth of flowers in June and are excellent wall shrubs

Pyracanthas – or firethorns – make good thorny hedging and are also excellent for training against a wall. This is a subject I’m planning on coming back to, as, at the end of the month, I’m leading a day at York Gate Garden at Adel, Leeds (I’ll be posting details on my website) for the Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society (Perennial), a charity I’m thrilled to be associated with. At York Gate – among other plantings of note – is surely one of the most spectacular wall-trained pyracanthas in the country: tier upon tier rising up about 10 metres, the full height of the house.

I may be exaggerating – the memory plays tricks – but it’s certainly a wonderful thing. I’ll be giving instructions on how to do this in my July newsletter – and post a picture on this blog. I would love to see it in autumn, when its red fruits must sing out against the louring dark brick.

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