The Bride is blooming lovely.
Exochorda x macranta ‘The Bride’ has to be the whitest flower of any one I know and the larger type racemes show themselves off so well on the long, slightly cascading stems of this large shrub.
It can achieve 3 metres by 3 metres (10’ x 10’) in the right conditions and forms a dense thicket of stems, on the outer edges of which form these spectacular flowers.
The flowers are followed by strange five-ribbed seed heads, rather like small star anise that stay on the plant for the rest of the summer – you can harvest seed from these but they will not come true to type.
There are no regular pruning requirements, although you can cut back old flowering growth in late spring and this can help to control the size and spread a little.
The best location for ‘The Bride’ is in full sunshine, but it will cope with dappled shade and it is not fussy about soils, providing that they are not shallow and chalky.
To add another dimension to the display, you can plant clematis alpina hybrids at the base of the shrub and let them use it as a climbing frame.
If you are lucky, they will flower at the same time and the Clematis is never likely to be so vigorous that it harms the exochorda.