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Trees for Containers

  • Special Offer on half standard topiary

    10% off all half standard topiary this summer*

    Whether you want to smarten up the front door with two beautiful plants either side, create a formal herb garden or just enjoy some beautiful trained trees, we have some great quality half standard trees in the nursery.

    Topiary plants Half standard Topiary

    There are many evergreen options including Prunus lusitanica (Portugal laurel) which clips beautifully and is shade tolerant. Laurus nobilis (bay) which prefers a sunny well drained site - the fragrant leaves can be dried and used in cooking!

    Holly is a useful specimen to keep in containers as it is slow growing -  Ilex argentea marginata - variegated holly really brightens up a front garden particularly in winter; Ilex Nellie Stevens is shade tolerant and has lots of red berries! Photinia Red Robin makes a great specimen in a sunny site with bright red new foliage in spring.

    For something more unusual the small variety of Scots pine -  Pinus sylvestris Nana Watereri makes a stunning half standard and will cope with windy sites.

    Liquidambar Gumball, Arbutus unedo (strawberry tree) and Elaeagnus ebbingei (silverberry) are other unusual half standards in the nursery - come and see...

    Dward Scots Pine topiary Pinus topiary


    *offer available in the nursery ends 31st July 2019

  • Need some Christmas present ideas?

    ??????????Do you prefer to do your Christmas shopping in the fresh air? Know someone who loves plants or are you just looking for something to make the front door a little more welcoming? We have a few ideas...


    Skimmia japonicaSkimmia rubella, looks like a bunch of flowers all winter, pink in bud with small white flowers in spring. A small evergreen shrub which prefers some shade, neutral to acid soil and ultimately grows to approximately 1.2m.

    Sarcococca ruscifoliaSarcococca ruscifolia or Christmas Box - this is a small evergreen shrub with a fabulous fragrance, thrives in the shade and ideal in a border near a path or doorway to bring a scent sensation to late winter. Grows up to 1m.

    Camellia japonicaCamellia japonica - spring flowering Camellia, with lots of buds ready to flower, evergreen, prefers some shade and neutral to acid soil. Grows to 3m depending on variety.


    Azalea JohannaEvergreen Azalea Johanna - lush dark evergreen foliage, orange red spring flowers, also prefers neutral to acid soil and some shade. Does well in a pot  - always use ericaceous compost!

    Variegated Holly half standardIlex acquifolium argentea marginata - Holly - a traditional plant for Christmas with a variation - variegated foliage which brightens up an entrance, bright red berries, slow growing and very hardy. Prune to retain shape in summer.

    Picea pungens EdithPicea pungens Edith - one of the best colour blue spruce's. Christmas tree shape, slow growing to approximately 3m in 20 years. Likes well - drained soil and a sunny site.


    Many of our customers give fruit trees and small ornamental trees as gifts, we would be happy to advise a suitable choice. Do visit the nursery or contact us if you need some ideas!

    Alternatively, we also sell Gift vouchers!

  • Trees for containers: Architectural Plants for Sunny Sites

    The flexibility, mobility and convenience that a pot-grown tree provides is highly desirable. Architectural plants such as palms are ideal for pots, being slow growing and partial to well-drained soils in a sunny site. These three trees are distinguished by their aesthetic similarities to palm trees, and are particularly suited to patios, courtyards, swimming pool surrounds and coastal gardens.

    “Cabbage Tree” – Cordyline Australis

    Native to New Zealand, the Cordyline could once be found with an ultimate height of twenty meters, though it is now heavily cultivated in the United States and England, and often potted to achieve smaller sizes. When touched the bark is found to be spongy, with long, narrow dark green leaves. In spring and early summer it can be seen to produce extensive, dense flowering spikes with a sweet, pleasant perfume.

    The Cordyline Australis now mainly enjoys success as an ornamental tree, after widespread decline in New Zealand. It’s fairly easy to plant and grow, and gardeners looking to introduce an excitingly exotic tree requiring little maintenance or pruning would choose well to invest in this genus.

    Windmill Palm - Trachycarpus Fortunei

    A generally hardy plant, this beginner tree is an excellent investment, having received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit. It can survive in most soils and pH types, as well as being drought tolerant. Sometimes considered the hardiest palm, it will survive cold winters when planted in well-drained soil, and is well suited to containers. After a particularly rough winter the fronds may appear ragged, though new ones will soon follow. Remember that on young plants may need their stem lagging with a breathable material such as horticultural fleece.

    Unlike the C. Australis, there tends to be a smaller number of branches on the Windmill Palm. In a potted plant the trunk can be expected to hit around two meters within ten years, with a number of sword-like leaves fanning out horizontally from the leaf stem The view is impressive, and is likely the potted plant that most resembles a palm tree available to enthusiasts.

    Mediterranean Fan Palm – Chamaerops Humilis

    This small shrub-like dwarf palm has a full and bushy appearance, with multiple stems carrying large fan shaped leaves split into linear segments. The plant is appropriate for architectural use, with a slow pace of growth making it ideal for keeping in a container.

    The Fan Palm is considered to be moderately hardy, and may be well suited for use as a conservatory plant in colder areas. It can survive brief periods below freezing, though wouldn’t be suited to frost pockets or cold environments.

  • Trees for Containers – Noted for Colour

    We’re often asked what trees can be grown in containers, and recognise that individuals are interested in a huge variety of trees, depending on the personal goals they want to see their garden achieve. In this part of our blog series we’ll be taking a quick look at three container grown trees noted for the invigorating and striking colours they display. For anyone who wants a smaller, transportable tree that will inject interest and colour into their garden then these trees may be a perfect fit for you.

    Japanese Maple - Acer Palmatum

    This genus is highly sought after for its distinctive red and purple foliage. The leaves commonly feature a palmate leaf shape, though some feature finely dissected foliage. Colouring ranges from light to dark green, burgundy and even variegated in the summer. Some varieties are most desired for the deep, regal shade of red they acquire in autumn. One of the most aesthetically striking trees available, it’s a worthy centrepiece or background to any garden.

    The tree thrives in loam-based compost with good drainage and organic components, our recommendation being John Innes Number 3. It will require re-potting every few years until it reaches maturity, and be sure to wrap the pot in bubble wrap over winter to protect the roots from frost. The leaves scorch easily, so a partially shaded and sheltered site is preferred.

    Weeping Cherry - Prunus kiku-shidare zakura

    This small, deciduous specimen features intense pink blossoms blooming in late spring. While young the leaves appear bronze, though they take on a glossed green upon maturity and during the summer. The heavily blossomed branches are pendulous, and the tree is often employed as an exotic focal point in architectural work and city parks, as well as for use in an informal private garden.

    Not only is the Weeping Cherry easy to cultivate, it also proves fairly hardy. With John Innes No. 3 compost the plant will thrive when placed in full sun. Under normal conditions there’s no need to prune the plant as upkeep or to stimulate growth, making the Weeping Cherry fairly low maintenance, making it an ideal specimen to be kept in a container.

    Red Robin - Photinia Fraseri

    Due to its vigorous growth this evergreen shrub is often used for hedging, though it serves just as well being grown in a container. The plant possesses white flowers and glossy green foliage, though it is best recognised by the deep red of its new growth. At times of new growth the shrub can outwardly appear entirely red, standing out among most shrubs for the consistency and strength of its colour.

    Growth can be up to 30cm annually so the plant will require pruning to retain the shape and size desired. This can be carried out after the initial spring growth and again in summer to keep trained specimens tidy. Pruning the plant will encourage the desirable new red growth to continue. Red Robin tolerates most soils and if kept in a container John Innes No 3 loam based compost is again recommended. Photinia thrives best in a sunny or partially shaded site.

    Any of these genera would create a splash of colour into an informal garden, while featuring all the conveniences that container-grown plants bring. If you have any queries about the topic then please contact us today, and we’d be happy to help out any way we can.

  • Trees for Containers – Evergreens

    There are plenty of benefits to keeping trees in containers. They’re mobile, able to be placed on paved areas and moved to sheltered areas during vulnerable periods. Additionally, they can come with you when moving home, or be easily rearranged to try out different garden structures. Evergreen plants can be even more convenient, surviving in a wide variety of soils and retaining leaves during winter. With these desirable traits, they’re perfect for setting up structure, interest and screening in the garden, particularly over winter. In this space we’re going to outline four evergreen trees suitable for container growing, to help you pick out a tree that’s right for your garden.

    Holly – Ilex species

    The Ilex genus is quite varied. There are over 400 species of Holly worldwide, all sharing a similar hardiness and appearance. Here we’ll focus on the Common Holly, Ilex Aquifolium, as much of the information remains relevant across the genus. Always remember to directly research any species you’re looking to buy, however.

    Often grown as a hedge, it also functions well as a specimen tree in a container. The spiny green leaves are glossy and present year-through. Expect the tree to yield a long-lasting crop of red berries in the autumn. Some animals enjoy eating them, birds particularly, though your use will be limited to admiring their ornamentation and the wildlife attracted into your garden. Remember the berries are mildly toxic to humans and eating them poses a real danger.

    The tree requires minimal cultivation and pruning, though it prefers to be left in full sun. Any type of soil will suffice, so long as you ensure the container has decent drainage. As one of the more iconic winter plants Holly is a great addition to any garden.

    Portugal Laurel – Prunus Lusitanica

    The Portugal Laurel is an evergreen tree tolerating partial shade. It’s fully hardy, drought resistant, and will survive well in even low quality soils of any type, just as long as they are well-drained. The tree again requires barely any maintenance, though you may wish to prune cautiously in mid-summer to retain the desired size and shape.

    For those searching for a little of everything the tree is an excellent choice. The tiny spring flowers are quite fragrant, and a few varieties will produce edible autumn fruit. The long, thick leaves are a pleasant dark green the full year round, and anyone seeking an evergreen with more of a ‘tree’ feel the Portugal Laurel may be exactly what they’re looking for.

    Yew – Taxus Baccata

    The Yew is popular as both topiary and hedging, though you’re more likely to be interested in the former if growing from a container. It’s almost entirely toxic, particularly the seeds, and features very little noticeable flowering. As with the above trees this species is entirely hardy, comfortable in any degree of light as well as exposure and urban pollution. Simply remember to keep it well drained.

    Suitable for topiary the Yew’s foliage is a dense and bushy green. The thin, needle-like leaves grow in two rows on each shoot, though there is little supplementary colouring to speak of. You may be attracted to the Taxus Baccata if you’re looking for a classic topiary that requires little maintenance outside of your own design, without losing its appearance during the winter.

    Dwarf Pine – Pinus Strobus Nana

    A small conifer, the natural resemblance to Christmas trees is an attraction to many, and it’s not uncommon to see individuals purchasing a Dwarf Pine as a hardy, manageable Christmas tree that doesn’t require pruning or ground planting. Comfortable in any well-drained soil the tree requires no pruning whatsoever, though some insects including aphids may attack it. Bear in mind unlike some of the other trees listed the Dwarf Pine does require full sun.

    The tree has short green needles year round, and at times will produce brown ovular pinecones which may remain on the tree for long periods of time. If the chance to keep a manageable Christmas-appropriate tree sounds desirable to you, the Dwarf Pine might be the best choice available.

  • Trees for Containers: Sunny with Edible Fruit

    In many situations a potted tree is simply more appropriate than a ground planted one. Many prefer the ease, mobility and flexibility that a pot-grown tree provides. Here we’re going to discuss a few trees bearing edible fruit that are suitable for pot growing with exposure to the sun.

    Strawberry Tree – Arbutus Unedo

    Strawberry Trees are an evergreen, multi-stem plant reaching an ultimate height of five to eight meters, though if you choose it can be grown as a single-stem tree. It’s prunable, making it an ideal half-standard topiary specimen. Pink flowers appear in autumn, with the previous year’s blossom producing rounded red fruits not dissimilar to strawberries. It’s fantastic choice for beginners, being fairly hardy and attractive. The red fruit, white/pink blossoms and red, shedding bark make for a striking combination.

    Fig – Ficus Carica

    The Fig Tree is another autumn flowerer with flowers appearing within what resembles a small fruit. It also produces edible green/brown fruit called figs between August and September. Like the Strawberry Tree it is hardy, and can grow fairly high and vigorously. This makes the Fig ideal for potted growth, where the roots will be restrained. As long as it’s kept in well drained soils and sheltered from cold winds it will prove easy enough to cultivate. This genus is a great choice for individuals seeking an unusual fruit tree than can be kept in a pot. The foliage of large, deep lobed green leaves is rough to the touch and majestic.

    Olive Tree – Olea Europaea

    The Olive Tree is quite adaptable, growing between five to ten meters. It can prosper in most soil types at various pH, including chalky, clay, loamy and sandy, just as long as you keep the soil well-drained throughout the year. Though generally hardy it proves vulnerable to low temperatures over extended periods, so be sure to take measures to shelter it. They usually produce black fruit in autumn, though in the colder environment of the UK you cannot count on this for sure, and the olives are unlikely to ripen.

    Each of these genera would make an attractive an excellent addition to any garden. Take a look through our website for more information, and see what kind of tree would suit your needs.

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