Inspiration for Autumn Planting
By Lorraine Spooner
Spending time contemplating our gardens over the past months has prompted many of us to reassess and rethink what planting improvements could be implemented to realise the garden of our dreams. Perhaps it is time to screen that eyesore, plant a hedge to create boundary interest, choose new trees to attract wildlife or you may just wish to seek advice on the way forward.
To help you achieve these goals, we are delighted to announce the arrival of our New Season Crops to the Plant Centre this month; these have been lovingly nurtured by our Nursery team to showcase to you in tip-top condition. These beautiful plants are jostling for your attention in the hope that they will find their new home and play a part in enhancing your garden aspirations.
Suggestions for Hedging and Screening
The Holm oak is a fast-growing evergreen, tolerant of many garden aspects and environmental conditions, making it a versatile choice for instant impact hedging and screening. Our 20 litre hedging crop is already at a good height of 150cms, so could be planted for many diverse garden uses, such as screening or dividing areas, hiding the oil tank or play equipment, or just to be admired at first hand for its beautiful foliage colour and popular nesting site for birds. If you prefer a stilted stem, these are available slightly taller at 150-175cms.
With differing growth rates and habits, laurel hedging is pollution and shade tolerant and is a popular choice for privacy and wind breaks. Our 65 litre ‘Caucasica’ and Rotundifolia’ hedging plants are an impressive 225-250cms; other varieties include ‘Genolia’, a more upright form and the new cultivar ‘Etna’, with a denser habit, coppery young foliage and attaining only 2.5 metres in maturity, is the one to choose for minimum maintenance requirements.
This season we are offering a selection of apples, pears, cherries, plums and quince trees in a 20 litre potted size; these have been growing into more mature specimens, so that you can enjoy their cropping potential earlier than if you had planted younger trees. Whilst some varieties are self-fertile, others will require a pollinating partner to fruit successfully. Visually stunning, the blossom also provides an early source of nectar for struggling bees.
The clue is in the word – these trees can be selected for their flower and fruiting potential, impressive bark, stunning autumn foliage colour or a blend of all of these for multi seasonal interest. Our team can offer advice on what trees would suit focal point specimens or multiple group planting, to best emphasise their attributes. The trees I have highlighted below are all in our 25-35 litre range and represent just a small selection of the many species and cultivars available.
Alnus incana ‘Aurea’
This form of the grey alder has golden foliage, reddish-yellow stems and dusky pink catkins, followed by persistent cone-like fruits making it a useful winter interest specimen. Tolerating damp conditions, it could be considered as an alternative to a willow for a pond or lakeside planting.
Acer platanoides ‘Crimson King’
The intense purple foliage of this vigorous Norway Maple provides a spectacular contrast to the multitude of green shades in the garden, making this fast growing specimen the ideal screening tree where space can be provided for its eventual size in maturity.