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A 'space' oddity


I have this ..err, problem? No, it isn’t a ‘problem’, it is more ‘an opportunity’.

Let me explain by way of pictorial meandering.

Approaching the front gate, this is the view you would get. A first glimpse of the garden, probably without the dog, but he does like to bask on the front lawn in the sun if perchance there be any sun to bask in; It is a bit lacking this year. The chances are high that as a visitor he (dog) would be jumping excitedly at the gate or fence and wagging his tail in expectation of lots of attention from someone new… He likes people.

Anyway, here is the view over the gate…

As you can see there is not a lot to see. Oh, There are a couple of things of interest but nothing that takes the eye. Well, there is the arch, I suppose. And beside it the recently identified Myrtle (Thanks to GoY. Thanks people.), and there are a couple of Azalea/ Rhodos that delight when they are in bloom. But beyond that…

The area – from fence to the arch – is bound by edging. There is a narrow, paved pathway immediately below the hedge to allow access for trimming. And the arch sits alone with no discernable access. It is oddly placed.

It is also firmly fixed and only sawing it off at its foundations would remove it. I like it as a feature to grow plants up and over, but its placement here is just.. wrong. It will stay until it rots, I have no intention of removing it. We can work around it. It does support an existing Clematis ‘Princess of Wales’, and another whose name eludes me. There was a honeysuckle but I oiked it out and relocated it.

Elswhere Aster rules. Along with a series of large clumps of Helleborus foetidus. Oh, not to mention a large clump of this…

Orange Hawkbit (Hieracium brunneocroceum) Goodness me it spreads! But I love it.

A couple of Tulip bulbs put in a brief appearance, then they vanish. Leaving this to carry us through until late summer when the Aster come into their own…

And here is the area when viewed from the lawn.

Aspect for the above is – The hedgeline is facing just east of north. Less than NNE I guess. It gets shelter from midday sun by the hedge and is in shade when the sun dips below the house to the west.

I have a cunning plan – In that (just visible) patch of bare earth I plan to plant a tree…

My measured conclusion on what to put in there is -

Pyrus salicifolia ‘pendula’ (weeping pear tree)

Let its unruly behaviour do what it will to fill the space. If it gets intrusive over the path (given a few years), just give it a prune back into place. Lovely silver-grey foliage and a bit of blossom to give a bit more brightness.

Well, that’s my thought… What do you think? Further suggestions/ideas gratefully recieved.


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We had an ornamental pear like that, ok but the flowers being white were insignificant and half the year were bare branches,
I,m thinking of something evergreen with golden or variegated foliage, Ilex golden king for example, take a while to grow though, maybe a bit chilly for Choisya ternata 'sundance' but then I like evergreens for brightening spaces, Euonymus are bone hardy or how about Eleagnus limelight?

23 Jun, 2013


Prunus serrula, enjoy that beautiful bark.

23 Jun, 2013


Ooh, that would be lovely.....the peeling bark is such an added feature... a variety of tree with foliage a lighter green than the hedge in the that it stands out.? Great to see you back Louise.

23 Jun, 2013


Thanks Meadowland :))

23 Jun, 2013


Hi Fractal
Ive just read the comments above and cant resist adding my 'fourpenneth'. I have a weeping pear tree in my front garden. It has been there for 20 years or more and is now quite large. I love it but do wonder if the size of it would drive you mad. You can chop it back as I did with mine but this resulted in it growing a much higher crown. Its now over 20ft high and stands alone in the centre of a lawned area. I cant help thinking you could have something a lot better for your front garden, perhaps a little less wayward. I am a great fan of cornus controversa variegata. The white edging on the foliage brightens the dullest areas and its slow growing.
I also have a prunus serrula in my front garden and am thinking of pulling it out. Apart from the bark the tree is totalling uninteresting, not even the usual show of blossom in the spring you would expect from most cherries! Anyway hope these comments help in your hunt for a suitable tree. Let us know what you decide.

23 Jun, 2013


That's what is so good about GonY, there is always such good advice and sharing of experiences.!!

23 Jun, 2013


Good luck with whatever you choose Fractal.
Have no suggestions to make other than if I had a hedge like that - I'd consider growing Tropaeolum speciosum through it. It is fussy but looks stunning! It currently thrives through my privet hedge but can't get it to settle anywhere else.

look here

23 Jun, 2013


I'd plant euonymus fortunei 'Silver Queen' in front of the hedge. It's evergreen, grows anywhere, can be cut back at any time, and will show up well against the green background

24 Jun, 2013


Apologies to all who have replied.

My computer caught a bug which laid it low for a while. I gave it a few doses of antibiotics (I gave it a good seeing-to!) And now all is well; I hope.

The thoughts and suggestions that have appeared have given food for thought and I am now of the opinion that a Dogwood is the way to go for the spot in question...

A nearby neighbour has a Cornus kousa 'China Girl' in their garden, and I admire it every day as I pass when dog-walking. I happened to see him the other day and we fell into discussion about it.

Again, I thank all who suggested various options.

The joy of gardening and the wonder of GoY! :)

1 Jul, 2013


That sounds lovely FC. It will show up beautifully against your dark green hedge I'm sure :-) Hope computer is back to normal again now.

1 Jul, 2013


Just the shrub, I should think.The contrast of colours will be spectacular.

1 Jul, 2013

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