Ornamental Trees and Shrubs
When starting a new garden from scratch, or embarking upon drastic alterations to a dull or neglected site, it is logical to commence with the installation of structural elements. When walls, patio, paths, steps and so on have been built the attendant debris can be cleared and the garden brought into general order. The next stage will be to lay the lawn, if this is included in your scheme, and finally your attention can be turned to the areas to be planted.
The care of plants involves an element of responsibility, almost like the care of a pet, since both are living things with needs that must be met. However, it is a responsibility that reaps rewards in the immense pleasure and satisfaction to be gained from seeing the results of your efforts. This is true whether the results are fruit or vegetables to eat,to decorate the house or plants that make you feel better every time you look out of the window, or smell sweet when you walk outdoors.
Plants, whether they are permanent trees and shrubs or temporary seasonal bulbs and summer flowering annuals, will represent the ’gardening’ enjoyment that goes beyond the routine maintenance work of sweeping paths and mowing the lawn.
In order to keep healthy, beautiful plants in your garden it is necessary to create the right environment for them, firstly above ground where choice of site and spacing are important considerations. However, much of the plant is below ground — the root system through which it obtains food and water, and the extent to which it can do so efficiently depends on the condition of the.
Preparing the Soil for Plants
Expressions describing soil as light, heavy, clay or humus are often bewildering to the new or non-gardener, and can leave you feeling quite unable to cope with all the attendant mysteries.
The unfortunate fact is that very few people can claim to have perfect soil in their garden and for most it is a question of improving the soil’s most basic problems.
The various kinds of soil found in gardens have been formed from organic matter and decomposed rocks over many thousands of years. The decay of plant and animal life forms a substance known as humus, which gives soil its dark colour. Little humus is found in the subsoil at lower levels because this was formed before plant and animal life were greatly in evidence.
Soil is generally made up of varying quantities of humus, sand, clay and chalk. When these are found in a good balance the soil is known as loam. However, many soils have an imbalance and contain an excess or deficiency of one or more of these elements.
Clay soil is known as heavy, because it is made up of small particles which stick together easily, and do not allow moisture to drain; this results in clay soil being often wet and cold, or in dry weather becoming hard and cracked. Consequently roots cannot easily penetrate the soil to take food, neither do they receive the warmth that many need in order to thrive.
Clay soil can be improved by adding peat, manure or well rotted vegetable compost, which help to form humus, and sharp sand, which helps to make the soil more porous and improve. Sandy soil is known as light, since it loses moisture quickly. This can mean that the natural nutrients in the soil, which would provide food for the plant through its roots, are washed away with the moisture. However, a sandy soil is warmer and many crops can, therefore, be planted early in the year.
Sandy soil can also be improved by digging in peat, manure or compost, since this will make it more fertile, and will also help to retain moisture.
A certain amount of lime is essential, as it helps to make heavy soil less sticky and more crumbly and workable. It also creates the right conditions for the release of many plant foods that are already in the soil, and are needed by plants, albeit often in very small quantities.
However, in some areas the soil is so chalky that it is almost white. If this is completely unworkable, you may have to consider importing topsoil, although this would obviously be extremely expensive. Better, perhaps, to dig in a good quantity of peat, manure or well rotted compost.
Warnings are often given about plants such as rhododendrons, ericas (heather) and camellias, which will not grow in a very chalky soil. Whilst this is true, and should be borne in mind, it does not represent a major disaster for the owner of such a garden. Such is the diversity of shrubs that are quite readily available nowadays, that there is almost certain to be a reasonable selection that will thrive in the conditions prevailing in your particular plot.
Digging the soil
Before the soil in your garden can be dug over, ready to receive plants, it must be cleared of debris and unwanted plant growth. In a new garden you will probably have to pick out and remove brickbats and stones, and may even find pieces of wood and tin cans lurking just beneath the soil surface. Weeds, grass and even small saplings should be pulled or dug out, although fine grass can be dug into the soil. As an alternative to pulling and digging, you could use a proprietary herbicide, which will kill only the top growth of weeds, and does not affect the soil. Ensure that this will not be harmful to pets or children; all weedkillers should be used and stored with caution. An older, overgrown garden may present a greater problem, and you will need to pull out or cut down larger plants, and dig out the scrub that remains. As a last resort for tough, stubborn scrub, there are stronger, specialised weedkillers available.
It is then essential to embark on some hard work, and dig the soil over. This too is particularly important in a new garden or old, neglected plot, but is nevertheless beneficial regardless of the state of the garden. You will find it easier if you do this in an even and methodical manner, rather than rushing at it enthusiastically and having to give up after half an hour.
Keep your back as straight as possible, use a clean spade that feels comfortable and try to strike up a steady rhythm. Insert the spade straight into the ground the full depth of its blade, turn over the soil and loosely chop the surface to break up large clods.
Turning the soil over to the depth of one spade is known as single digging and is adequate where the soil is reasonably loose and crumbly, and in good condition. However, with problem soils it is preferable to ‘double dig’ to a greater depth; this really does give plants a better chance of strong, healthy growth. Beneath the first spade’s depth you will almost certainly encounter the subsoil, and this should be kept separate from topsoil. Loosen it with a fork, and then replace the topsoil, incorporating the peat or other material according to the requirements we have mentioned.
Planning the permanent plants for your garden
Flowers from bulbs and annuals grown from seed produce colour and interest for just a few months of the year. Certainly they are a bright and valuable addition to any garden, but you would feel cheated if you were able to see only temporary plants, and the plot into which you had invested time and money reverted to bare earth in winter.
The importance of permanent plants in the form of trees and shrubs cannot, therefore, be underrated. They form the framework of an ever-changing scene. Once planted, they will mature and become attractive both in their own right and as a backcloth to splashes of seasonal colour.
Since they are intended to be permanent it is essential to plan with care and forethought your choice of plants and their position in the garden. Planning a shrub planting scheme is almost like painting a three-dimensional picture with living material, but plan so that time is on your side.
Most shrubs change with the seasons — some more dramatically than others — and you should group them so that there is always something of interest to be seen.
Colour of plants
Colour is an important consideration when planning. Many people probably think first of the colour of a plant’s flowers. Rhododendrons have dark green leaves and a good, bushy shape, but they are not particularly stunning as a green plant. What a different story when the flowers start to appear! Large clusters of tiny blooms in a terrific range of colours from palest pastels to deep purple and crimson. Roses are even less spectacular during winter months, but in summer their colourful, long lasting flowers make them one of this country’s most popular plants.
However, flowers are not the only way of introducing colour in shrub planting. Leaves, too, are important. Not only are there more shades of green than you would have thought possible, but plants with grey or silver leaves such as Senecio greyis or the brightest gold of conifers like Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Winston Churchill’. Some plants such asthunbergii atropurpurea, have reddish or purple leaves; others turn brilliant red or orange shades in autumn, enjoying a blaze of glory before winter sets in.
Shrubs with variegated leaves can bring a lightness of colour and contrasting pattern to a planted area, and even the woody stems have a part to play. Cornus, or dogwood, for instance, is grown often primarily for the dramatic red or yellow twigs that it displays in winter months.
You may wish to plan your shrub planting with a definite colour theme— green, white and yellow for instance, for a cool, fresh look — or you may prefer to indulge in a riot of colour with plenty of changing interest throughout the year. If so, it is still important to maintain a balance, so that there is not an over-concentration of colour in any one area. Lessons can be learned from the basic principles of flower arranging, where strong, bright colours are placed in the foreground and lighter, subtle shades create a softer background.
Evergreens are, of course, particularly useful for a constant show of colour that is, incidentally, not necessarily always green. Conifers alone have foliage shades ranging from the silvery-grey of pines to the brilliant yellow of golden varieties of chamaecyparis.
Size of plants
When planning where a shrub should be planted, do not consider the size of the plant you will actually buy, so much as how wide and tall it will have grown in, say, five years’ time. This may vary according to the conditions in your garden, but it is still important to allow adequate space for your shrubs to develop properly. A rough guide for planting shrubs of average size is the rate of three shrubs in every five square yards of space. However, the ultimate size of a shrub should be found in a nurseryman’s catalogue, or on the plant’s label in a garden centre. If you do not resist the temptation to plant too closely at the outset, you may find that shrubs are too cramped to mature properly, and the shape of the plant will be spoiled.
It is perhaps stating the obvious to say that taller plants should be positioned to the rear of a bed or border, and shorter plants to the front. If the entire border were planted with shrubs of a similar size, not only would it appear flat and boring, but the beauty of those at the back would be partially obscured.
However, a 12in high heather would not look its best if backed by a 6ft high forsythia. The jump in size is too drastic to be comfortable to the eye, and height should be achieved more gradually. It is, therefore, advisable to plan for three approximate — not exact — levels. Position plants 1-1/2 to 3ft high in front, 4-5ft high subjects behind these, and taller plants reaching 6 to 7ft or even 8ft to bring up the rear. The ‘banked’ effect will look more attractive and give each plant the opportunity to be seen and enjoyed.
If you position just one each of many different varieties of shrubs together in a bed or border, the result can be a piecemeal, unco-ordinated effect. It is better to plan for a mixture of individual shrubs and small groups, to achieve an integrated appearance. Groups should contain three or five shrubs; the odd number makes for an informal but balanced layout.
Position in the garden
Valuable information as to the position and climate in which a plant will thrive should also be gained from a catalogue or plant label. Some shrubs will live happily just about anywhere, but others prefer a certain type of soil or do well only in deep or partial shade or in full sunshine. Some shrubs are tough, and will stand up to windy, exposed sites, others need protection and a little cosseting. It is advisable to choose shrubs that are suitable for the conditions in your garden; not to do so can simply mean cruelty to the plant struggling to survive a hostile environment and disappointment and frustration for you — not to mention the waste of cash!
Shape of plants
It is easy to think of shrubs in terms of fairly nondescript bushes, but the range of shapes in this part of the plant world is enormous. Just consider the difference between the large, flat leaves of fatsia and the dainty, feathery leaves of some of the acers. Moreover a low growing, compact potentilla bears no resemblance to the stately plumes of pampas grass (cortaderia).
Plan your planting to combine a variety of shapes and form, both of plants themselves and their leaves and flowers.
Some shrubs look best in groups, others have a very distinctive shape and are often referred to as architectural plants. Good examples are bamboo, or, with stiff, narrow, spiky leaves and large, white creamy flowers on tall, straight stems. Architectural plants are often used to their best advantage as an individual specimen, taking a prominent position in an open area of the garden. The shape can create an excellent contrast to plants of a less dramatic form if included in a bed or border.
The growing habit of some shrubs makes them suitable for a particular application. Climbing plants are a good example; they can be used to clothe a wall or fence, to cover a shed or garage that is not particularly attractive, or simply to wind around the front porch. Plants should be positioned in the ground at least twelve inches away from the base of the fence or wall that they are intended to clothe.
Lonicera periclymenum is probably the most familiar form of honeysuckle, with deliciously scented flowers, and is ideal for rambling over an object such as a coal bunker or an old tree stump that cannot be removed.
It can be doubly effective to combine more than one climber. Clematis is another favourite, and the ‘Jackmanii’ variety is a good companion to climbing, for when the rose has finished blooming the purple flowers of the clematis take over, prolonging colour and interest over several months.
Someneed careful positioning. Wisteria sinensis has superbly scented hanging lilac blooms, but it must be in a sunny position. The climbing Hydrangea petiolaris will, on the other hand, thrive on a north facing wall and is valuable for that purpose. Jasminum nudiflorum is the winter jasmine, and is useful for colour at a time of year when few plants are at their best. For autumn splendour it is hard to beat Parthenocissus quinquefolia, the Virginia creeper. In September and October its matt green leaves turn to shades of vivid scarlet that are quite stunning, and the plant can be grown in a suitable position facing any direction. Finally, ivy is a very useful tough, evergreen climber and varieties are available with green or variegated leaves.
Ground cover plants
The object of ground cover planting is to form a mass of low growing, spreading or prostrate plants so that they mat together to form a dense carpet, thus helping to suppress weed growth. However, before you plant ensure that the ground is free from weeds, and continue to weed the spaces between plants until they are sufficiently mature to mass over.
Ground cover plants are a good idea for a front garden where space is limited and you don’t want the bother of a lawn. Plant them in a narrow border where taller shrubs would be too bulky, or in a small area betweenstones to provide soft relief to a hard surface. They can also cover a sloping bank, where bold drifts and clumps are most effective.
Plants that spread to form a dense, low growing mass include Hypericion calycinum. Known as the ‘Rose of Sharon’, this evergreen spreads by mat-like roots and has golden yellow flowers. Vinca minor is also evergreen, and varieties have blue, white or purple flowers. Potentilla fruticosa has dainty, daisy-like blooms in colours ranging from pale yellow to red.
Other plants suitable for ground cover include those whose stems have a prostrate habit, growing horizontally rather than vertically. Cotoneaster dammeri is such a plant; its shiny leaves are evergreen, and in autumn it has scarlet berries. The shoots root where they touch the soil and will spread indefinitely at a rate of approximately 18in per year. Juniperus horizontalis ‘Glauca’ is a prostrate conifer with beautiful feathery foliage on stems like spreading tentacles. A group of three will eventually cover quite a large area.
Selecting the shrubs for your garden
There is an enormous range of shrubs that can be grown in this country, and we suggest that one of the best ways of becoming sufficiently familiar with even the more common ones is to peruse a good nurseryman’s catalogue. One that gives a description of the plants available and a guide to planting distances, sizes and so on, will prove an invaluable source of reference.
It is, of course, equally useful to take the opportunity of visiting a garden of special horticultural interest, where plant varieties are clearly labelled, for you will leave with a clear picture in your mind of the size, shape and colour of particular plants that appeal to you.
Long Latin names may be found off-putting, but they are a foolproof, international form of reference and their use avoids possible confusion when a plant has several different common names, or where there are numerous varieties of one shrub, such as berberis. The name also gives information about the plant itself in many instances, such as ‘variegata’, meaning a variegated leaf, ‘aurea’ meaning gold coloured or ‘nana’ meaning small.
Most shrubs, although not native to our shores, have been with us for many years, and new types or ‘cultivars’ are rarely introduced. However, roses are being bred as a continuous process, and each year sees a crop of fresh introductions. Part of the enjoyment of rose growing is to keep up with exciting newcomers as well as old favourites. The popularity of ‘Peace’ and ‘Queen Elizabeth’ is unlikely ever to wane, and yet a new rose like the miniature ‘Royal Salute’, marking the Royal Silver Jubilee can have equal appeal.
Where to buy shrubs
If you feel that you have an inadequate knowledge of plants, it is a good idea to go along to your local nursery or garden centre and peruse their stock before reaching final decisions.
You should not allow your ignorance to prevent you from asking the advice of a knowledgeable plant salesman. If the establishment does not include such a person, then you would probably be well advised to take your custom elsewhere.
It is unfortunate that most of us do not expect to be familiar with the workings of machinery that we buy a washing machine for instance and yet we feel a sense of guilt and reluctance to admit an unfamiliarity with plants. If more questions were asked at the time of buying, then a great deal of later disappointment would be avoided. Shrubs can be obtained by mail order from a reputable nursery, preferably one that offers a guarantee of replacement within a limited period, provided that the plant’s failure is not due to your negligence. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for when buying plants and if you see them advertised at very low prices, as conifers foroften are, then it is wise to be aware that the plants you receive will probably be very small indeed.
Many garden centres offer a guarantee similar to that of nurserymen. Shrubs on display should look fresh and healthy and well cared for, and not give the impression that they have been waiting to be sold for some time without proper attention.
Garden centre shrubs are almost always in containers, or have their roots ‘balled’ or tied up with a quantity of soil that surrounds them and secured in hessian or a similar material. The soil in a container should not look or feel as though it has been allowed to dry out completely. A ‘container grown’ plant is preferable to one that has only recently been placed in a container and is known as ‘containerised’. The shrub will have been able to establish a good root system and will therefore withstand better the inevitable shock of being transplanted. When you look around a garden centre, if you pick a plant up gently by its stem and the plant comes away from the soil in the container, then it has only recently been potted and should be avoided.
It is beneficial to apply a proprietary general purpose fertiliser seven to ten days before planting. Use a quantity in accordance with the instructions on the pack you purchase. Adding twice the quantity will not necessarily give you plants that are twice as large, and could be positively harmful!
Container grown shrubs can be planted at any time of year, except when the ground isor frozen. Keep the soil in the container moist until you are ready to plant and if the soil is very dry in the garden, then water the area where the plant is to go, and continue to water regularly until the plant is well established.
To plant the container grown shrub, water the container and leave to drain, then carefully slit around the circumference of its base, taking care to disturb the roots as little as possible. Place the container in the planting hole, then slit the sides and remove the remains of the container. Fill in around the roots with fine soil, not large clods, and firm. The level of the top of the soil in the container should be just below the finished soil level.
When it comes to planting root balled shrubs, carefully untie the hessian in which the roots and soil are wrapped. If the soil remains intact in a firm ball, as is desirable, then this should simply be planted in the ground, in a similar manner to a container grown plant, and the hessian discarded. However, if the root ball starts to crumble, carefully lift hessian and plant and place in the prepared hole; the hessian will eventually rot away. Nowadays shrubs are sometimes root balled in a plastic material similar to hessian, and this should always be removed before planting.
‘Bare root’ shrubs are lifted straight from the open ground in which they have been grown, and if ordered through the post are generally delivered wrapped in damp peat and waterproof protection. If the ground is frosty or waterlogged when they arrive, store them unopened in a cool, airy place such as a shed. In prolonged periods of adverse conditions, open the root package and cover them with an open weave material such as sacking, slightly dampened.
The planting season for bare root shrubs is from October to March. When you are ready to plant, dig a hole of generous proportions in comparison with the expanse of the roots. Normally a depth of 15in to 18in and a diameter of 2 to 3ft should be adequate. Place the roots of the plant in the hole and fill in with fine soil, working it around the roots and gently firming at intervals to avoid air pockets forming. Finally, firm the surface of the soil and water.
It is easy to take trees for granted. If you live in the suburbs of a large town or in a rural area, you tend to become accustomed to seeing trees around. It is often not until we spend a lot of time in the centre of a large city where there are few trees that we realise just how precious and how beautiful they are. Trees have a special appeal that is quite different from smaller plants; their size gives them an aura of grace and splendour, and the enormous variety of colour and pattern in bark, leaves and flowers creates ever-changing interest.
This is true not only in parks, streets and woodland, but equally in gardens, for a tree has a special part to play in a garden layout.
Firstly, its appearance when viewed from the house adds height to the vista, creating interest on a level with the upstairs windows; this can be particularly useful if the naked, unbroken view is one that you would rather not see — in town it might be the gas works or a factory and on a new estate simply the open backs of rows of houses.
In the garden itself a tree gives shelter from wind and can help to absorb sound. Its branches cast shade and dappled leafy patterns on the ground, and the soft rustling of its leaves in the gentle wind is soothing and evocative.
Of course, leaves are not the only attraction; bark can be beautiful both in texture and colour; the mottled grey of the familiar silver birch tree is a good example. Flowers are a major attraction, particularly in spring when the ornamental cherries, plums and others are laden with blossom, sometimes sweetly scented.
The vivid hues of autumn bring yet another kind of pleasure, and what child can resist scuffling along through fallen leaves? Even in winter the stark, bare branches of deciduous trees have a dramatic appeal, particularly after a heavy fall of snow.
It is, of course, not only by virtue of their beauty that trees are a vital part of our everyday lives, for by the process of photosynthesis they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and produce life-giving oxygen.
Sadly, the number of trees growing in the British Isles has decreased during the last few years, due to a number of causes. These include the development of land for housing and roads and that now familiar enemy Dutch Elm disease, which has taken such a terrible toll, although it is by no means the only fatal disease from which trees can and do suffer.
It is, therefore, most important that we make every effort to plant new trees wherever space permits. Although, unless you have a large garden, you are unlikely to have space for more than one or two trees, it is also worth bearing in mind the fact that the greater the variety of trees we plant, the better. Dutch Elm disease has shown only too clearly that the elm is just one of the trees that has been planted in concentration in the past. A wide variety of trees will go some way towards securing the future healthy development of the maximum number, for it is essential to see the planting of a tree as a long-term venture.
The importance of long-term planning of tree planting cannot be over-emphasised. You do not have to look far to see the results of ignorance and bad planning that has occurred from five to ten years previously. The branches of a tree planted too close to the house may have dislodged the gutter or roof tiles, and in strong winds there is the danger of damage to windows.
Roots, too, can cause damage. If the tree is close to the house they may disturb its foundations, causing walls to crack. Therefore, when deciding on the position of trees in your garden layout, plan to plant at a safe distance from the house; we recommend a minimum of 16 to 20ft as a general rule, depending on the size of the tree.
A further practical consideration is that of avoiding planting too close to a manhole cover, as in time the tree’s roots could disturb thethemselves. The roots of a willow tree which are, of course, particularly prone to seek out water, have been known to penetrate a drain and start to cause a blockage.
Choose a tree that is appropriate for your garden, both in size and speed of growth. A Cupressocyparis leylandii may look harmless enough when you buy it, at two or three feet tall, but it can be expected to grow at a rate of anything up to three feet per year in the right conditions, and you could soon be overwhelmed by its height.
Size is not the only characteristic to consider. Laburnum trees should not be planted where young children play, as the seeds are poisonous. Falling leaves can cover a very small garden, and a large leafed tree will tend to make the job of clearing easier than one with a multitude of tiny leaves that curl up and seem to find their way into every nook and cranny.
A mistake sometimes made is to plant a malus (crab-apple) tree, too close to a path or, in a front garden, to the pavement. In autumn the fruit falls on the path or pavement and can be messy or even dangerous underfoot.
Planting a tree
Before planting a tree the soil should be dug and prepared in the way we have described for shrub planting, but the addition of some damp peat to the soil during the tree planting process will be beneficial.
Planting a tree is, in fact, a similar process to that of shrub planting, although a larger hole will obviously be needed to accommodate the roots, whether the tree is open ground, root balled or container grown.
When the hole has been dug, bang a good stout stake firmly into the ground, so that a depth of 18 to 24in is below the soil. The tree should then be placed in the hole beside the stake, without damaging the roots.
If the tree is container grown, the container should be removed and the soil replaced around the roots and gently firmed. If it is an open ground tree, with fibrous roots exposed, sprinkle fine soil around them, gently firming as you fill. The finished level of the soil should be in line with the original planting level in the nursery; this can usually be seen clearly from the colour of the bark.
Attach the tree to the stake at two points; one 12-18in above the ground and one at the top of the stake, just below the branches. This should be done by means of proper tree straps or ties, since these can be adjusted as the tree grows and the girth of its trunk expands.
If the tree is planted in a lawn, allow a circle of bare earth around its trunk that has a minimum diameter of 4ft, and keep this area clean and free from weeds.
Finally, a word about watering. A tree needs plenty of water immediately after planting and right through its first summer. Water in the evening, giving a good soaking rather than a gentle sprinkling. Trees suitable for small gardens include the following:
Acer negundo ‘Variegatum’. Acers are commonly known as maples; negundo is a smallish tree growing to approximately 20ft high, and has bright green leaves with silver variegation.
Acer platanoides ‘Drummondii’ is slightly smaller than ‘Goldsworth Purple’ and has striking variegated leaves, which are green with a broad cream border; a very attractive tree.
Acer platanoides ‘Goldsworth Purple’ is a tough tree that grows quite quickly to reach a height of about 25ft. The leaves are a rich shade of dark purple all summer and the ‘keys’ are bright red.
Betula pendula ‘Youngii’. ‘Young’s Weeping Birch’ grows to approximately 15ft high, with weeping branches that form a dome shape, almost touching the ground. Birch is not fussy about soil, and can, therefore, be useful on poor, light soil.
Malus floribunda. ‘Japanese crab-apple’ grows to approximately 20ft tall, with a slightly weeping shape. Flowers in the spring are deep red in bud, opening pale pink and turning white, and in autumn the tree produces small, cherry-like fruit.
Malus tschonoskii. This rarely has fruits, but is a beautiful, upright tree with leaves that turn to bright hues of red, bronze, purple and yellow in autumn.
Other varieties of malus particularly suited to small gardens include ‘Golden Hornet’, an upright tree with white flowers and yellow fruit, and ‘Red Jade’, a form with pendulous branches.
Prunus trees include ornamental flowering almonds, peaches, plums, sloes and cherries. Trees thrive on a limy, well drained soil.
All the flowering plums have purple leaves and pink flowers in varying shades. They grow to approximately 20ft tall, and all are suitable for a small garden.
Flowering cherries grow to 20-25ft tall, and include the following attractive trees:
Prunus ‘Amanogawa’, the ‘Lombardy poplar cherry’; a tall, straight tree with scented pale pink blossom.
Prunus ‘Kanzan’; has a stiff, upright habit and in May bears large clusters of double pink flowers.
Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’ flowers in late autumn, with white flowers that become tinged with pink.
Prunus subhirtella ‘Pendula Rosea’. This tree has long, sweeping branches, clothed in April with double pink flowers.
Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’. A beautiful tree that grows to approximately 20ft tall, with delicate, bright yellow leaves all through the summer, the leaves becoming tinged with coppery shades in autumn, and the tree producing bright red thorns. This tree needs an open site, with regular sunshine, in order to maintain the light colour of its leaves.
Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’. A variety of whitebeam with leaves that are silvery grey in spring, turning to green in summer. A somewhat larger tree growing to 30ft or more.
Sorbus aucuparia. The mountain ash or rowan tree grows to 20-30ft tall, and has feathery leaves, silvery grey bark and orange berries in autumn.