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Bring Early Spring Colour To Your Garden.

Japanese Pink Pussy Willow (Salix gracilistyla ‘Mt Aso’) [Salix = Willow, – gracilistyla = slender style, – Mt Aso (Aso-san) = largest active volcano in Japan and overall amongst the largest in the world.

The above ‘Mt Aso’ Willow shrub, with its changing pink, to purple, to red coloured catkins was first selected in Japan by a cut-flower developer.

In your garden, this shrub spreads to a maximum size 6ft x 6ft, with handsome bluish-grey leaves that are silky underneath. The twigs are covered with a greyish-tan fuzz and here in Ireland the catkins will begin to swell in late January; opening fully in February and March, depending of course, on the prevailing climate temperature.

The wonderful shrub will grow almost anywhere in full sun and in either sandy, average or moist soil, but will insists on being watered regularly, if residing in an area of low rainfall.

Little troubled by disease; the soft and silky catkins grow from 1 inch, expanding as they mature to around 2 inches in length. If coppiced (cut back annually) firmly; this truly ornamental shrub will maintain a steady annual supply of young stems, producing maximum flowering.  The cut stems can be brought indoors from late January onwards and placed in 3-4 inches of water until the flowers expand. Then remove the water and the dried stems will hold the pussy catkins, literally for months.

Currently, while stocks last, this rare and unusual shrub is available at O’Driscolls Garden Centre, Mill Road, Thurles, Co. Tipperary [Tel: (0504) 21636] and is categorised under our ‘Good Deals‘ section, retailing for the amazing price of just €8.50.

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