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Tag Archives: Alder

  • Plants for winter interest

    Winter gardens don't have to be dreary! Some trees and shrubs provide colourful stems and bark, fragrant flowers and foliage colour.

    Evergreen trees and shrubs can add form and structure to a garden in winter and of course provide screening too. Both conifer and non-conifer foliage can be used to create a colour pallette all year round. Gold foliage particularly stands out on dull winter days - Cupressus Gold Rider is a great variety for strong colour.


    Cupressus Gold Rider

    Evergreen shrubs that have variegated foliage, such as Pittosporum, can be used to great effect in mixed borders. Spotted laurel is one of the few variegated plants that thrives in shade so can be used to brighten up a dark corner. Similarly variegated holly when lit by house lights can be cheerful in the darkest months.


    Pittosporum varieties


    Holly - Ilex argentea marginata


    Spotted laurel - Aucuba japonica

    Colourful stems are found on many Cornus and Salix (dogwoods and willow). Shrubs such as Cornus alba sibirica, C. Midwinter Fire and C. Magic Flame look great planted in drifts of red, yellow and orange. They can be trimmed in spring to encourage new growth and they tolerate heavy even wet soils well. Willow can be used in the same environment, Salix alba britzensis the Scarlet willow can be left to grow into a large tree where the top colourful growth catches low winter sun or pruned hard to create new growth at lower levels.


    Cornus alba sibirica - red barked dogwood

    Trees with interesting bark include the Himalayan Birch - Betula utilis jaquemonti and Tibetan cherry - Prunus serrula with glossy mahogany bark.


    Betula utilis jaquemontii


    Prunus serrula Tibetica

    Shrubs Skimmia rubella and Viburnum tinus Eve Price both have attractive buds that last all winter prior to flowering in spring.


    Skimmia rubella

    Flowering shrubs are particularly welcome in winter - Sarcococca or sweet box is an evergreen shrub with small white fragrant flowers in late winter. Edgeworthia chrysantha or Chinese paper bush also has fragrant flowers and silky cream buds. Hamamelis - witch hazel has spidery yellow, orange or red flowers and some are fragrant too. Mahonia media has yellow fragrant flowers and architectural evergreen foliage - lots of choice!


    Alnus incana aurea catkins

    Many trees have interesting catkins in late winter and early spring - birch, alder, willow and hazel - early signs of spring are always welcome!

  • Bare root Hedging Available!

    Why Bare root?

    Plants can be bought either container grown, rootballed or bare root.  In late autumn deciduous plants lose their leaves and go into dormancy - they can be dug up and supplied in bundles without soil on the roots. This is an economical way of planting new hedges and woodlands.

    Mixed rural hedges are a traditional way of creating stock proof hedges, and can be enjoyed in gardens too, helping wildlife and creating an attractive division.

    Hawthorn is usually the backbone of the hedge, forming a good structure and providing flowers in spring and berries in autumn.

    Blackthorn is another prickly plant with white flowers and blue black berries - the 'Sloes' that can been used to make Sloe Gin!

    Hazel is quick growing and provides nuts in autumn, catkins in later winter.

    Field maple is another species that knits a hedge together well, it has lovely yellow autumn colour.

    Hornbeam is quick growing and does well in heavy clay soils; Beech prefers lighter soils and keeps it's leaves well throughout the winter when grown as a hedge.

    Spindle has bright pink and orange seeds and can tolerate very chalky soil. Guelder rose is a shrub that copes with wet soils, it has bright red berries and good autumn colour.

    Dog rose can scramble through a hedge providing attractive flowers in summer and rose hips in autumn.

    Planting a mixture of species ensures a range of flowering times for pollinating insects, different food sources for birds and mammals and a visually appealing hedge. We can supply bare root plants for mixed rural hedges as well as single species.

    Introducing some species that can be let to grow into trees in the hedge row can offer further benefits. Oak, Field Maple, Hawthorn, Rowan, Hornbeam and Wild cherry are all good examples and can also be bought as container grown trees.

    Of course all the native species used in hedges can be planted as trees or shrubs for woodland planting. Always make sure young plants are protected from rabbits, deer and farm animals - or they will get nibbled!

    If you need any advice about bare root plants, do ask us - telephone, email or visit. We can supply single or mixed species in a range of sizes.

  • Bare root plants available!

    Plants for hedges are supplied bare root from November to March when they are dormant. This is an economical way to plant new deciduous hedges. Our plants are well rooted, strong plants you may see cheaper on the web but would find it hard to get better quality.

    Our Hedge Packs of 25 plants are ideal for small quantities (one pack is sufficient for 5 metres planted in a double staggered row) or are ideal for gapping up an existing hedge. Available in a 60-80cm size comprising 12 Hawthorn, 4 Field Maple, 3 Hazel, 3 Spindle and 3 Blackthorn.

    Hedge packs are also available in the nursery at the larger size 90-120cm comprising 13 Hawthorn, 4 Field Maple, 4 Hazel and 4 Hornbeam.

    For larger quantities our classic Country Hedge mix is available with 50% hawthorn and a combination of other species supplied in bundles of 25 plants.

    Single species such as beech and hornbeam make attractive garden hedges . A variety of sizes are available, the largest usually used for hedging is 125-150cm. Evergreen plants are supplied at small sizes such as Yew 30-40cm and Box 20-30cm - well branched sturdy plants.

    There are many advantages of hedge planting including benefits to wildlife - creating food, shelter and habitat; hedges provide design features in gardens, division of larger areas, shelter for seating areas and vegetable patches;  plus there is the benefit to the environment of soaking up air pollution in urban areas, and slowing wind and water erosion of soil.

    Need advice? Follow the links above and telephone or visit to discuss your requirements.

  • Trees for shade

    In hot weather we welcome the benefits of trees for shade.

    Tilia - Limes for shade

    In many cities parks are popular for all the right reasons - playtime, exercise or just sitting and watching the world go by - and trees enhance the park landscape.

    We reap the benefits of inspired tree planters of years ago. London's Plane trees in Hyde Park and Manchester's Poplars in St. John's Garden have survived polluted conditions to offer cooling effects in summer, improve the air quality and help reduce traffic noise. Street trees improve the look of the built environment making cities a more pleasant place to live and work.

    Large trees such as limes (Tilia species), Norway Maples (Acer platanoides species), Oaks (Quercus) and Planes (Platanus x hispanica) are some of the  obvious examples of trees that offer shade - trees that grow to 15m and more and have dense canopies.

    Medium sized trees include Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus), Sweet Gum (Liquidambar), Alder (Alnus), and Field Maple (Acer campestre).

    Smaller trees that have dense canopies such as hawthorns (Crataegus) are useful for shade aswell as June berry (Amelanchiers) and Cotoneaster. Trees that can be pruned to restrict their size in small gardens include Indian bean tree (Catalpa) and the silver willow leaved weaping pear Pyrus salicifolia Pendula.

    Gardens small and large benefit from some shade in the summer, and if the garden is too small for a tree there are other options to get 'green infrastructure'. Vines can be trained over pergolas for example and Wisteria can be grown on a stem with a pruned 'crown'.

    It is not the best time for planting in the heat of the summer, but it is a great time to enjoy the benefits of trees!

    We hope you are enjoying the summer and don't forget to continue to water newly planted trees, shrubs and climbers in the hot weather!

     

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