Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’:
Shyly hiding away in the east garden is one of our loveliest shrubs: the double-flowered Japanese rose. Also known as Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’, it has been flowering all spring. This little Rosaceae is a deciduous shrub with a really long flowering season, offering lots of yellow blossom.
Actually a native of China, it was first seen in Japan by European botanists and introduced as a garden plant. Japanese gardeners had cultivated hundreds of Chinese imports for centuries before they were ‘discovered’, resulting in many Chinese natives having the name japonica.
It is quite a low maintenance plant and grows easily here, preferring a partial shade position. It can reach about 2m high and works really well at Gravetye as an isolated subject. I have also seen it looking wonderful as an espalier against a wall in many gardens in France.
Words and photograph by Martin