Whenever we’re out on a job, we often get a lot of questions from people around the use of trees. Even some of the more experienced gardeners that we encounter tend to find trees a more difficult subject than general planting. Architecturally speaking, trees are some of the most useful components of garden design so we make sure that we know as much as we possibly can. To answer a question from a recent client, here are 3 of the best trees that will work hard year round in the unpredictable British seasons.
A low-maintenance tree that doesn’t require a huge amount of space to thrive. Just make sure you don’t plant next to foundation borders and you’re pretty much set. Flowers will blossom in spring and give a splash of white to your garden, whilst the leaves become scarlet as the year goes on and stunning yellow berries cling to the branches after autumn takes its toll on the leaves. Not only will the tree remain beautiful for the majority of the year, it will also attract birds and other wildlife to your garden with its consistent fruit litter.
A firm favourite for small gardens and for ye of little patience – this silver birch grows rapidly. The real charm of this genus is the stunning white bark that remains all year round, probably contrasting with most colours in your garden. In winter, outside of snowfall, it’s one of the most striking trees in the landscape. Top tip – get some patio uplights beneath the multi-stem branches of a Jacquemontii for a majestic backdrop to your outdoor entertainment area.
These acers are popular all around Britain for good reason. Low maintenance and a rainbow of colours throughout the seasons, along with a wild majesty that comes straight from Memoirs of a Geisha. The Sangu-Kaku is the pick of the bunch because it boasts coral-coloured bark which shines throughout the colder months when other trees and plants fade away. The colour cycle of leaves goes from pastel pink/yellow through lime green in summer and into vivid yellow in autumn. Acers also manage to cling onto their leaves longer than most trees and then shed spectacularly.
And remember that most trees you can buy fully-grown from large nurseries and garden centres – even if they don’t advertise it. If your garden is looking likely to be bland this winter, your quickest and easiest fix is going to be hunting down a fully-grown holly!