While we were in England over the holidays, we naturally visited the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley, just outside London on the south side. The lakeside highlight was the stunning display of shrubs grown for their winter stems which gleamed in the gloom even on a cloudy afternoon.
As well as all the dogwoods, Cornus, and willows, Salix, familiar and rare, one plant in particular stood out – Acer negundo ‘Winter Lightning’. I’d never heard of it, I have to say, there’s only one stockist listed in the RHS Plant Finder (in the US it’s available from Forest Farm). But its surge of tall stout green stems, yellower towards the base, was simply stupendous - like a monstrous green porcupine from outer space!
It overtopped the dogwoods and willows grouped around it and as a specimen amongst their more slender red, black, orange, green and yellow stems it really stood out. I want one.
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