GBBD: Batchelor's Buttons
The most striking feature of the front garden side border at this time of the year is Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora' aka Batchelor's buttons, Jew's mallow or Japanese rose. As you can see it's definitely living up to the 'Pleniflora' part of its name.
I chose this shrub because it's tough as old boots and to brighten up a heavily shaded area. It's repelled footballs with aplomb and flowers for a long period. If it flowered later in the year, it would be too yellow as the harsher light of summer - even in shade - would make it too strident. It's classed as spring flowering, though I have known it to start to bloom as early as December.
Kerria is described as a vigorous shrub and whilst it does sucker, the relatively poor land I've planted it into keeps it in check. The younger stems remain green for quite some time, which helps to retain some interest for most of the year. It reminds me a little of bamboo as the stems stand relatively straight post flowering and I've selectively pruned back some of them so the shrub forms more of a curtain-like screen to form a border with the public land next door.
The RHS description (take the above link) says Kerria's good for a woodland setting. I've placed it right next to the line of trees bordering our property, so for once I've got it right!
What's your most striking plant in your garden this April?
Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.