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Plants for Summer Interest

  • Summer time tips from English Woodlands

    July and August is not an ideal time for tree planting. However, the summer months are great for simply enjoying a garden in full bloom, complemented by glorious sunshine; the summer time is also a good time to start planning for autumn!

    Summer trees for shade

    Prominent trees featured in towns and cities are particularly welcome as the temperatures start to soar. Adding much needed shade to the streets and softening the outline of buildings, trees add a certain beauty with their foliage and form. Parks form ‘green lungs’ in built-up areas and transform high streets into attractive avenues. So enjoy the feel good factor of trees wherever they are this summer!

    Some of our favourites trees for shade include:

    Other plants to enjoy

    Moreover, there are many plants to enjoy around a patio or pool in summer include olives, figs, palms and bamboos. Have a good look around the garden to see what foliage colours and shapes you could add. Green is restful, gold and burgundy foliage can be added as a highlight, and variegated plants love the sun!

    Top tips

    If you are going on holiday this time of year, remember newly planted trees and shrubs need watering so do make arrangements for this with your neighbours or friends if you are going away!

    Some more top tips for what to do during summer include:

    • Tie in and train new growth on climbers such as Wisteria and Clematis
    • Prune new growth on apple and pear trees to retain shape and encourage fruiting side shoots next year.
    • Trim all topiary plants, such as bay, to keep them in a neat shape – and feed them if they are in containers.
    • Make sure you keep watering all your newly planted trees and shrubs!

     

    Looking good in the nursery just now:

    hydrangea Hydrangea
    imperata cylindrica Imperata Cylindrica
    phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis

    If you want to find out more about the products listed above, then just let us know. Visit our contact page to find out how to get in touch.

  • Evergreen Flowering Plants for the Summer

    Evergreen trees, shrubs and climbers add structure and foliage interest all year round, and if they flower too they are really earning their keep! If you have a wall to cover or a statement to make there are some great plants in flower just now.

    We thought we’d share with you some of the cream of the crop, available at either the English Woodlands nursery or online.

    Firstly, Evergreen Magnolia – Magnolia grandiflora, we also sell the variety ‘Goliath’ which flowers when younger than the species.

    Retaining its deep, glossy leaves throughout the year, evergreen Magnolia can flower from July throughout the summer, and if mild into the autumn too. It has large creamy flowers, which are delicately fragrant.

    Magnolia grandiflora was traditionally grown in sheltered walled gardens or against a house and enjoys a sunny site protected from cold wind. It makes a stunning stand alone specimen and is prunable, but at the expense of some flowers.

    Magnolia grandiflora Goliath Flower

    Our Trachelospermum jasminoides – know as the ‘Star Jasmine’ – is not, in fact, a jasmine, as you might expect.

    This climber has very fragrant white flowers reminiscent of jasmine and given some support will climb and screen walls and fences.

    It does best in well-drained soil and a sunny site, the star jasmine can reach an ultimate height of 7 metres. If this is too high for your liking, don’t worry: you can keep it contained in a smaller space, while the plant can be pruned, if need be. If you do need to prune however, be careful, as the stems and leaves exude a milky juice when cut.

    Trachelospermum jasminoides

    Finally, another impressive container plant currently in season is Nandina domestica, also called heavenly bamboo although it is definitely not a bamboo!

    These are erect, evergreen shrubs with elegant green foliage, which colour well throughout the entirety of summer and autumn. With panicles of white flowers appearing in mid-summer, nandina domestica eventually sports bright red berries, growing to an ultimate height of 2 metres, with a 1.5 metre spread. Nandina is slow growing and is an attractive plant for a pot on a patio – ideal in courtyard gardens too.

    Nandina flowering

    As ever, if you wish to discuss the plants featured here, or any that we have available in stock, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

  • Hydrangeas

    July is closing out, so there’s no better time than to take a look at a few species with standout summer interest. Hydrangea is a genus made up of around 70 deciduous, flowering plants, originally native to Eastern and Southern Asia. With persistent summer flowers, they’re often couple with popular spring flowerers (such as Rhododendrons) to create long-term interest in the garden.

    Hydrangea head 1

    They make for fabulous flower arrangements, with a variety of colours to mix and match (and the heads can make brilliant home-grown decorations!), so today we’re going to briefly take you through some of the species brightening up our nursery this summer.

    Hydrangea macrophylla

    An amazing standby. With the potential for large pink, blue, or white flowers (depending on soil type and availability) arriving during late July and August. At the ultimate height of 2 metres they’re stunning additions, visit the link above to see more images proving the point.

    Hydrangea petiolaris

    As a climber, Petiolaris stands out from the rest of the Hydrangea crowd with aerial roots and twining shoots. Initially slow growing, this unusual yet expansive shrub can eventually cover the entire side of your house! Provide a preferably cool site with partial shade, and you’ll be treated to an immense display of fragrant, white flowers from June to July.

    Hydrangea Vanilla Fraise

    One of our most popular plants last year, and deserving of every drop of attention received. You’ll be treated to large, creamy, conical white flower heads during late summer, aging to deep, raspberry pink once autumn rolls around. Fully hardy and fairly fast growing, you can expect to see this popular choice reaching approximately 2 metres in height, given a sheltered site with sun or light shade.

    Whatever you do, don’t overlook Hydrangeas this summer. When other flowerers are coming down from their peak, these specimens offer an exhilarating long-term display, excellent for prolonging seasonal interest in the garden as late as autumn.

  • Plants for Summer Interest - Trachelospermum jasminoides | 'Star Jasmine'

    You might recognise this slow growing, evergreen climber from our newsletter this July, or possibly by its common alias of ‘Star Jasmine’. This is actually a misnomer, as the plant isn’t a jasmine. It’s a fine comparison though, with oval, glossy leaves playing host to white, jasmine-like flowers with a sweet scent. They’re extremely fragrant, and fade to a pleasant cream in July-August as they age.

    "Star Jasmine"

    It’s a great summer plant, and you’ll find yourself spoiled for planting choices if you find yourself lucky enough to get one. As an evergreen it’s suitable for screen training on a trellis or fence, or it could be planted by pillars, pergolas, arches, and sunny porches.

    So long as it has a warm, sunny and sheltered wall to grow against, and well-drained soil to grow above, it can provide a soothingly sweet scent to pools, seating areas, and arbors. If your garden already features deciduous climbers, such as ever-popular roses, Star Jasmine offers a welcome evergreen element into the mix when partnered with them.

    It can reach an ultimate height of 7 meters, but don’t let that deter you if you’re short on space. Star Jasmine takes its time growing, and can be easily contained if you set out a defined, smaller space. Also generally hardy to the cold (with occasional reddened foliage during a chilly winter), you’re unlikely to have much trouble maintaining the plant. Just take care if the need to prune does arise, as the stems and leaves exude a milky juice when cut.

    Star Jasmine is available now from only £43.20 including VAT, and marks an excellent way to expand your summer garden with a soothing, fragrant specimen. If you’re interest in similar plants, don’t hesitate to check out our other climbing plants for a little more variety, and contact us at any time for help and advice.

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