The Garden Community for Garden Lovers



By AndrewR


“One for sorrow, two for joy …” begins a rhyme about magpies. But the solitary magpie in my garden has been giving me joy for several years now – stachyurus ‘Magpie.’

Stachyurus are shrubs of woodland, flowering in early spring before the leaves emerge. The pale yellow blooms look like a cross between a hazel catkin and a wisteria raeceme, but hang rigidly rather than dangling in the wind.

‘Magpie’ started life as a praecox species, may be listed as chinensis, but now the botanists have removed any species from the name. Whatever it is called, it makes a shrub about six feet high and a little less across.

The leaves are variegated, with broad white margins, and this causes a challenge to its cultivation. Because the amount of chlorophyll is limited, the plant is weak and slow growing in its youth, getting stronger as it gets older.

The advice I was given when I purchased the shrub thirteen years ago – and which worked – was to grow it in a pot for about three or four years, overwintering it under glass, until it was fighting to get out of the container. At that point, it was planted in a sheltered position against a fence. The recommendation is for an aspect in part shade, but I gave it a south-facing spot but with the roots in the shade, since when it has gone from strength to strength.

Who needs two magpies for joy?

More blog posts by AndrewR

Previous post: Another example of good service

Next post: Heritage Daffodils



Now thats a new one on me Andrew, can't remember ever seeing one and its certainly one that would stick in ones mind if interested in trees and shrubs....

4 Apr, 2016


New one on me too Lincslass! It's very striking and you have obviously found just the right spot for it.

4 Apr, 2016

Add a comment

Recent posts by AndrewR

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    6 Sep, 2014

  • Gardening with friends since
    7 Mar, 2014

  • Gardening with friends since
    25 Feb, 2011

  • bjs

    Gardening with friends since
    13 Apr, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    29 May, 2013

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    31 Mar, 2010