This selection of shrubs is chosen specifically for the poor, thin, acid soils common on the upper parts of the Howth Penninsula. The two we have selected below are at their best this month.
This is the smallest magnolia and one of the most popular, growing very slowly into a rounded bush, 3m (10ft) high when mature but still only 1.2-1.5m (4-5ft) after ten years. It is fairly hardy, and frost can damage the grey furry buds and open flowers if they are exposed to morning sunshine. A position with early shade and sun later in the day is best. The beautiful flowers, pure white and lightly scented, open very early and before the leaves, eventually covering a mature shrub for several weeks. Plants tolerate lime, even pure limestone. This is one of the best magnolias for a small garden. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Clematis armandii is a tall climber (9 ft) with long evergreen leaves that are covered with fragrant white flowers in early spring