As winter turns to spring many of us are spending more time in the garden, contemplating what could be… when thinking about plants and and landscapes, why not consider the quince?
Flowering quince (Chaenomeles) are a wonderful winter hardy, disease resistant, deciduous shrub which grow well in the northern states. The thorny, twisted branches become covered with masses of vibrantly colored coral, pink, orange or white blossoms in the late winter and early spring. As the blossoms fade, bright green leaves replace them. Finally, in the winter when the leaves give in to the frost, hard, yellow, waxy fruits are revealed.
At each of these stages, the nearly indestructible quince will provide you with many levels of elegant beauty and fragrance indoors and out.
In January, or early February, at the bud stage, quince branches can be cut and “forced” to bloom indoors. The warmth of the indoors entices the tight buds to open early and grace the indoors with delicate blossoms.
Short or tall, quince can always make an elegant arrangement. This year, we placed a couple of branches (about a foot tall) in individual glasses that made up a set.