I was warned. When in the midst of life (my late twenties, early thirties) and in full thrall of new garden planting, I had read that purple sand cherries were short lived shrubs. I planted a beautiful purple leaved sand cherry, anyway.
For years it grew and flourished. I even planned a color scheme around it, but alas, it is no more. Not in any shape that I desire to prolong its life in the garden. I just haven’t worked on that part of the garden enough to deliver the coup de grâce ending its now sorry existence. Not that many wise garden writers had not warned me… but it’s allure was too strong for me to pay heed.
Perhaps if I had pruned it back, when fully intending to, it may have regained strength? We will never know now, since a sequence of droughts and arbitrary freezes taxed it beyond its stamina to endure. First decimating its fine, almost weeping, branches, now only vestiges are left, and they look downright shabby like some forsaken, fallen, decrepit bush. Which it now is.
But it was so gorgeous in its prime, I am tempted to start over with a new bush…. after all, 15 to twenty years of fine looks might be worth the premature demise.
I think that purple leaf sand cherries, Prunus x cistena, need some TLC to prolong their lives. Still, they are a relatively short lived shrub.
If you would like to try growing one anyway, visit Nature Hills online nursery, for purple leaf sand cherry trees.
They are pretty.
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