The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, January 9, 2000
Garden Life

Look-good plants
By Satish Narula

PROVIDED space permits, ornamental flowering trees are an asset to a garden. It is because of the combined effect of these blooms. Flowering twigs are at times used for display in a vase and as floral arrangements, for flower competitions. The plum tree also serves as an ornamental plant that gives an attractive display of delicious fruits.

Edible peaches have an ornamental beautyEssentially a part of the Japanese gardens, the plum has made a place for itself in the garden landscape. Varieties for the hill region and plains, differ. The hill varieties fail to bear fruit in plains as their chilling hours requirement is not met. However, such varieties do give flowers. This is true for peach, pear and almond too. This is one of the reasons as to why certain plants bloom sometime but fail to give fruits.

  Satluj Purple is the variety suitable for plains. This variety is self unfruitful but is compatible with Kala Amritsari as polliniser. The trees of Satluj Purple are medium in vigour with a habit of spreading. The tree has immense ornamental value too. Laden with crimson fruits, it presents a spectacular sight. The fruit ripens in second week of May and is very suitable for table purpose.

The other variety, Kala Amritsari is low spreading and vigorous. The purplish fruit is medium and depressed at both ends. The tree is a heavy cropper and the twigs bend down to touch the ground, since the bearing is heavy.

Peach and pear are valued both for their fruit as well as for ornamental value. Some people even include pear as avenue plant in their landscape, especially while landscaping in farm houses.

The peach tree has been discarded due to insect infestation and total curling of leaves. Introduction of new cultivars like Partap, Florda Prince, Earli Grande and good old Shan-i-Punjab changed the scenario. The insect infestation in fruit was due to the attack of fruitfly, late in the season. The above said early maturing types are free from this menace. Partap and Florda Prince ripen in the third week of April and Earli Grande and Shan-i-Punjab are ready by the first week of May. This is a bonus because not many other fruit choice is there during this period. The curling of leaves is due to aphids for which there is an effective control measure.

In pear Patharnakh (hard pear) and Baggugosha and Le Conte (soft pear) are the suitable types for the plains.

The above said plants are available with the Department of Horticulture, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. The time to plant them is now.

This feature was published on January 2 1999

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