A Gardening Journal
Today in the Garden of a Lifetime: Cinderella Crabapple in Summer
- Published: September 08 2016
Thanks to Cinderella crabapple's dense and compact habit—and its ability to be grafted atop a trunk to form a standard—the tree is ornamental all year round. It isn't just a delicate beauty in Spring when once again in foliage, then bud, then flower; nor just a stalwart sculptural presence in Winter when displaying snow and ice. There's a distinct show even in Summer, when the tree is just in leaf.
This Summer's foliage show is particularly striking in that it is, literally, the Summer foliage: All of Spring's foliage was eaten by a grim two-way plague of gypsy moth and winter moth caterpillars. Could that be one reason the leaves seem so fresh despite Summer's usual stresses of heat, drought, and, simply, length? I'll know more in subsequent years when, I hope, caterpillar infestations aren't as severe.
The foliar display is also enhanced mightily by the near-chaos of colorful foliage nearby. These are just two of the gleeful throng surrounding this Cinderella: At the back, the Summer-proof brightness of the pollard of 'Golden Shadow' paper mulberry. At center right and extending across the dwarf box, the chrome-yellow leaves of gold-leaved ghost bramble.
Below, all three of these standards of Malus 'Cinderella', their heads held high in the crowded Summer scene of hardy plants and scores of containered conservatory plants enjoying their Summer outdoors.
The yearly cycle of Cinderella is still to play out. This Fall promises three shows: first, colorful foliage, then foliage with the crabapples, then the crabapples alone after the foliage has fallen.
'Cinderella' is as party-ready as my topiary of hardy orange, and for the same reason: Each season, its performance features something both startlingly attractive and radically different from the peak of the season before. Both of these trees are essential to any garden aspiring to be always lively.
Here's how striking Malus 'Cinderella' is in the dead of Winter when displaying heavy snow.
Here's how full of promise Cinderella is when in bud in Spring.
I'll show other seasonal highlights of Cinderella—as well as create a full profile—soon.