I can’t decide whether the woman who sold me Spanish Broom (Spartium juncium) when I’d gone to buy a pale, English (Common) Broom was a bad salesperson or an exceptionally good one - after all, I came away with a plant!
I’d gone to the garden centre with Cytisus scoparius (Cornish Cream) in mind. Given that I haven’t found a useful link to include with this post - maybe I was being a bit hopeful expecting to find it ready-to-buy at the very first try. But this was pre-internet. (I’d found its picture in a book.)
She warned me she was a day-release student (or something along those lines) and I think she was having trouble imagining small spaces. When I said it was to be crammed between a shed, a fence, a wall and a couple of paths, she said a Spanish Broom would be fine. It has been fine. But I suspect only she and I would think so.
The friend who helped me collect it was alarmed. “But it’s a tree!” she said. (I know.) “It’s not a bush!” (I know.) “It’s got vivid yellow flowers.” (I know.) “You said you wanted cream.” (I know.)
But brilliant yellow looks brilliant against brilliantly blue skies. (We get a lot of those.) (Usually.)
We lumbered it into the back of her car.
And it has been wonderful. It has been brilliant.
But, now, it has split.
I’m not sure why.
Maybe it’s because it was lopsided - lop-sided because it insisted on growing every way but North when every-way-but-North was in the way so I had to keep chopping bits off.
Not that I minded when it was. (In the way.) I was happy to push through wet branches when it was raining. I liked bursting through into the un-dripping open-ness of the rest of the garden. It was like being an explorer arriving in a glade. But friends didn’t. (Like it.) And Ming was especially put out on alternate Wednesdays when he had to wrench the wheelie bin under its drooping branches. He had to tug it hard with one hand while pushing up a flexi-trunk with the other and try not to loose his balance when it (the wheelie bin) pinged free and shot through the back gate.
Each year, I chopped (sawed) off another branch. Each winter, it was less of a tree. As it grew higher, so it grew narrower. And now it has split. It was already dying. Its leaves (which are not leaves but clusters of very long needle-like things) were brittle and dry. Spanish Broom is short lived compared with other trees - but this short has been too short. I don’t know how deep its roots go but I suspect it ran out of water, what with being between the paths and the slabs the shed stands on.
The extra annoying thing is that, seeing it was dying, I’d been planning a new role for it - as a support for a rose.
I’d thought about it.
Sought advice - and decided on ‘Malvern Hills’.
But I can’t have a rambler when there’s nothing for it to ramble on. So it’s goodbye to Broom.
Goodbye to not-yet-(fortunately)- purchased Malvern Hills rose.