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By request....Growing Trees in my small-ish garden

111 comments


N.B. Approximate eventual heights and widths are noted in brackets, and I have neutral to acid clay and sandy soil, some parts waterlogged at times, some parts dry at times.

‘They’ are often heard to say that there is room for one tree in every garden, no matter what the size. I wholeheartedly agree. My garden is fairly small, difficult to say exactly how big as it sort of ‘wraps around’ the house on three sides, but it is about 25m wide by about 12m long…ish in the main part, and the two triangles on each side of the house are about the size of a small courtyard…about 9m X 4m tapering to a point. So….a small-ish average sized garden… or a tiny one if you’re Dawn, or perhaps a huge park if you’re Fran! ;0)

The biggest challenge in my garden is to achieve privacy as we are directly overlooked by six houses at the back, and two on the left side. It sometimes feels like I am ‘on stage’ in the garden, even though it is only the bedrooms that overlook my garden.

So I have planted as many trees as possible. Not only for the privacy, but also because I just love trees so much. I love having plants in my garden that are so much bigger than me…that I can ‘hide’ under, and birds can hide in. I’ve always loved being under the shelter of trees, I really do think that if there is re-incarnation, then I must have been a woodland creature of some kind! ;)

Of course, choosing trees for a small garden takes effort and a little research. A neighbour has planted a Larix (Larch) just over the fence…not a great idea. It is a beautiful forest tree and will grow to be an immense plant, sucking water up for metres all around it. Pity, but there’s not much I can do about that as I don’t know them at all.

Another consideration is proximity to the house. ‘They’ say that to keep your foundations safe from root interference, one shouldn’t plant any tree closer than 4m to your house walls. Shrubs and Climbers are fine of course, because they don’t have such massive and deep root systems. So, go for these if you want to grow plants on your house walls.

Now, I do have some trees that would, left unpruned, become massive forest trees…my Eucalyptus Gunnii (Cider Gum 10mX10m). I have been in two minds about them all along, but with evergreen colour, that doesn’t block out light, and has a gorgeous glaucous colour with lovely pinkish tints…how could I resist? They will have to be hard-pruned regularly. Up here, once a year, but down south you might need to do it twice! They can grow up to 2m in a single growing season. I have 4 of these at the moment, and one of the slower growing and less unruly Eucalyptus Pauciflora (Snow Gum 12m X 6m)…it has lovely white bark, and an even ‘airer’ growing habit than E.Gunnii. I haven’t had to prune it at all yet in six years. It’s still not up to the top of the fence! They do respond wonderfully to being hard pruned though…they will just come right back with their lovely juvenile leaves.

Recently pollarded E. Gunnii

E. Pauciflora foliage

I have a real love for all the Sorbus trees, from the red berried and lollipop-shaped native Rowan Tree, to the lovely yellow-berried ’Jacob’s Ladder’ and the white berried varieties (and many of them make good trees for gardens) but once I was visiting a friend and saw a beautiful blue-leaved Sorbus with Pink berries. Well, I fell for it, hook, line and sinker, so when we moved here I just ‘had’ to have it. The name is Sorbus hupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’ (8mX8m). This tree has lots to love about it…but….sorry folks, the smell of the flowers is horrid! Peeeeeuuuuugh! So, you have been warned! lol. Still, this is a magnificent medium sized tree. It starts in spring with pink new growth turning green as it matures. Then the cream coloured and rather stinky flowers…then the leaves start to go bluey in hue and the berries form…at first a lovely pinkish white and then deepening to pink… what a gorgeous effect this makes in late summer. Pink berries on blue leaves! And the Mistle Thrush loves the fruits and comes every October to relieve me of them. It is one of those trees that starts early and finishes late. Brilliant! Oh, forgot to say, another warning…it can tend to sucker a bit, and it seeds itself everywhere too. I have Three of these in my ‘woodland’ border, and one transplanted self-seeded sapling.

Two of my Pink Pagoda trees

Close-up of the leaves and fruit…

For winter interest I love my ‘white stemmed birches’. They are quite ‘trendy’ now aren’t they. I have Betula Utilis var. Jacquemontii (Himalayan Birch 18mX18m) and plain B. utilis. I can’t really tell much difference so far. Both trees have lovely white peeling bark, catkins in spring, nuts in autumn and lovely airy leaves that rustle gently in the wind and cast only a lightly dappled shade. Jacquemontii has bigger leaves I think. I have five of these planted quite close together in the sunniest spot, close to the fence and providing a sort of leafy canopy around one of my seating areas. They worry me a bit because they may well have to be pruned later. I’ll have to consider getting an expert in for that job!

The largest of the birches …

White stems of the Jacquemontii..a multi-stemmed example…

In between the Birches I have four Cytisus Battandieri (Pineapple Broom 4m X 4m), which are really a shrub, but they make a good small tree when grown as a standard. They are not reputedly fully hardy, yet mine survived -10 quite happily last winter. They are semi-evergreen and hold on to their downy silver leaves until it gets very cold indeed. In June/July they bear pineapple scented racemes of lovely yellow flowers. Highly recommended!

Cytisus Battandierii shrub growing as a standard ‘small tree’

Cytisus close-up

Another tree that eventually will reach a good size is Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (Eastern Redbud 10m X 10m). It always attracts comment because of its large, heart-shaped purple leaves. The downside to Cercis is it is very brittle, slow growing and late to come in to leaf (mid June up here). If you decide to grow it, you will love it, but if you’re anything like as impatient as me, you will be pleading with it to ‘get going’ every year! To make things worse, it drops its beautiful leaves quite early in the autumn too. In spring, before the leaves, you ‘should’ get a lovely show of deep magenta flowers all over the branches…but sadly, so far, not many flowers have appeared on mine. Still, it is only six years in the garden…there’s time for it to start performing yet. I fear it just prefers a warmer climate, as do most scots for that matter! ;)

Here it is after five years of growth…still tiny!

One of the main problems is finding evergreen trees that aren’t too dark and dense and don’t grow too big. I’ve solved this issue with the beautiful large shrub/small tree…Cotoneaster salicifolius Exburyensis (5m X 5m). It starts off quite erect but then branches out dramatically, giving me wonderful cover above the top of the fence. It doesn’t get too big; it’s almost fully evergreen (defoliated quite badly winter of 2010/11 but soon grew new leaves and was never fully ‘naked’). It bears small panicles of cream flowers in early summer and dull yellow berries in the autumn. The blackbirds found mine this year, so I’ve had no berries since about November! Still, you can’t hold that against the blackbirds can you! I have 4 of these. Highly recommended, and there are other evergreen Cotoneasters with red berries too.

The Cotoneaster in flower….

And in fruit……

On to smaller trees now…I grow Acers, which is no mean feat here, where the wind can be very challenging for them. I have Acer palmatum atropurpureum in the ground, in a sunny and sheltered spot. It’s thriving. I have 5 others in a shadier position in my ‘Japanese’ corner. They are all in pots and they will remain in pots, sheltered from the wind up against the house wall.

Acer Palmatum ‘Katsura’ (6m X 4m)

Acer Palmatum Atropurpureum (2m X 3m)

Acer P. ‘Redwine’

A. ‘Shaina’ (5m X 4m)

And the last one is the least in this case..because it is just a tiny baby and has not yet had any leaves…Acer ‘Osakazuki’, which Carol rates as the best one of all!

Even smaller in stature are my dwarf fruit trees. I have seven. Dwarf dessert apples Winter Gem, Katy and Discovery, Dwarf Dessert Cherry ‘Stella’, Dwarf Pear (not sure which, but could be Worcester Gold as it is self-pollinating), and a dwarf plum Thames Cross. The newest fruit tree is Malus ‘Pink Glow’ (5m X 5m) a lovely Crab Apple with deep pink ‘plum shaped’ fruits. A garden wouldn’t be a garden without a fruit tree now would it? I use most of them as ‘breaks’ between the conservatory and the rest of the garden. Something to break the view a bit, as my garden is very short. To be absolutely honest, some of them were bought as ’Ballerina’s’ but I’ve let them grow in to small tree shapes rather than keeping them as a single stem. The blossoms in spring are wonderful of course. Katy is an espalier trained tree, growing on a south-west facing fence in the front garden. Espaliers are great for making good use of small spaces in the sunshine. You don’t have to have an orchard to grow fruit!

Discovery apple blossom..

..and fruits..

Katy in the front garden…

Dwarf apple ‘winter gem’…

My first ever mature pear fruits, autumn 2011..

Plum blossom..tree’s first year, no fruit this time :(

I have a Crataegus tree, (Hawthorn 5m X 4m) in quite a shady place which seems to inhibit its flowering quite badly. I hope that as it grows more in to the sun, it will flower a bit better. It is a tree that we bought ‘on impulse’ and then couldn’t think where to plant it. Luckily, Hawthorns don’t get too big. The flowers on this one are double deep pink in colour.

The Hawthorn Tree in front of the shed…

Close-up of the lovely blossom….

In late winter and early spring I look forward to seeing the blossom on my Prunus subhirtella autumnalis rosea (autumn flowering cherry tree 8m X 8m). Some flowering cherries get really broad and dense, but this lovely tree never outgrows it’s welcome and has a really dainty ‘japanese’ arching style about it. I love it. As the name suggests, this tree will flower from the autumn through to the spring in mild areas in a mild winter. Mine rarely flowers before December, but even so….a great tree! Most blossoms are so transient, but this one just keeps on flowering for months.

Prunus Subhirtella Autumnalis blossom today!

The other Winter flowering tree I grow is Cornus Mas. (The Cornelian Cherry 4m X 4m). It has acid yellow flowers from February and later lots of small, red, oblong shaped fruits which can be used in cooking. They taste sweetish but pretty bland. Another of the blackbirds’ favourites! Again, a tree that never gets too big for it’s boots, and flowers at a time when not much else is happening.

Cornus Mas in flower last year….

The fruits…

I have three Magnolia trees and one magnolia ‘stick’ (free gift, but you never know it might eventually grow!). The largest, and my favourite, is Magnolia ‘Heaven Scent’ (10m X 10m) the pale pink flowers go on well in to the summer after it’s initial spring display. It does have a beautiful scent if you stick your nose right in to the big flowers! The other two are new…Susan (burgundy flowers 4m X 3m), which is small and has yet to flower and Loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’ (8m X 6m) which is just gorgeous. It has a more ‘shrubby’ habit than Heaven Scent and the flowers are a pale lilac shade.

Magnolia ‘Heaven Scent’

Magnolia loebneri ‘Leonard Messel’

I do love lilac trees, but in my old garden I found them to be moody, unreliable and to be honest, a bit dull when not in flower. When I spotted Syringa emodi variegata (4.5m X 3.5M) in a local GC, I thought it an interesting alternative. It doesn’t matter to me if this small tree never flowers (actually I believe the flowers have an unpleasant scent to them) because it’s large, un-lilac-like leaves are so beautiful in shades of green and yellow. It is in quite a shady spot and grows very s…l..o…w..l..y.

Syringa emodi variegata foliage…

In a large pot in the front garden I have a lovely Abies Koreana (Blue korean spruce 4m X 3m). I hope to keep it containerised but we’ll see how it likes it. It may have to be planted in the ground eventually. It is a slow grower and bears blue coloured cones from an early age.

Abies on the left here…

Other trees in large pots at the moment are Corylus Avellana Contorta (Corkscrew Hazel 5m X 5m) and a small Taxus Baccata (Yew 10m X 6m). Both of these slow growers are currently in my Heuchera ‘potted’ garden.

Gosh, well, I think that’s all the trees for you. How many did you count? I reckon 42. A small forest…perfect! Oh, no I forgot to mention Prunus Kojo-no-mai…but can you really call it a tree?…eventually it will reach about six feet, but it’s like a miniature tree at the moment at about 2’ tall!..oh and the four hollies of course, but they are forming a small ‘hedge’ so will never be ‘trees’. A small Yew tree in a large pot in the Heuchera garen, oh, and of course the Cornus. Three Controversa Variegata, a Florida, and two Kousas. They are very small at the moment and Cornus can either be considered as a large shrub or small tree. Controversa Variegata does get rather large, so they are here for the time being, but may not all be ‘permanent residents’. I would love to keep one of them at least as they are just sooooo beautiful (Wedding Cake Tree). They are slow-growing.

Cornus controversa variegata ‘Wedding Cake Tree’ (15m X 15m)

Can I just say (because there are bound to be those among you who are thinking I am a raving lunatic for having 42+ trees in my small garden), I believe that it is fine to remove a tree that becomes unattractive or a nuisance. I love trees, but in my garden they are plants the same as all the others. If they have to be pruned, or removed, then they will be pruned or removed. I’ve already removed a betula pendula which couldn’t handle the wind, a Eucalyptus Gunnii that was leaning badly (they do that sometimes), a Parrotia Persica which cast too much shade, a large Pittosporum which died of cold AND a Davidia Involucrata, which was always a bad idea..far too big and doesn’t flower for years and years..beautiful though…in my next, bigger garden…hmmm……:)))). I know that eventually some of my trees will have to be removed by someone, perhaps not me. So, even if you have a small garden, even a balcony, don’t be afraid to plant a tree…or grow one in a large container! There’s nothing to compare with watching them grow and mature and watching the birds flitting among them and under them and the sunlight dancing in the leaves. You can hang bird feeders in them, wind chimes if you like those, or if you’re really lucky, you might get a nest or two…even a visiting squirrel (red preferably!). And of course, you will be producing oxygen in your garden for all us creatures to breathe!

Next week…‘shrubs in my garden’….lol…only joking! ;)

More blog posts by karensusan63

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Comments

 

Lovely photos KS, I enjoyed your blog.. very interesting.:o)

15 Feb, 2012

 

Wow Karen!!!!!!! Lovely blog and very imformative, added to my favs for future reference, thankyou...

15 Feb, 2012

 

This is fantastic Karen, and so speedily done after DottyDaisy asking you! My reaction is "we are so lucky to have you on GoY"!! Like Lincs, I have added it to faves, and also nominated it for GoYpedia.

What an amazing collection - and so well chosen. I love the purple leaves of your Cercis, and the variegated Syringa. In my own garden, my favourites are the Cornus controversa variegata, dwarf Robinia, and Amelanchier . . . I'm sure you could find room for an Amelanchier, lol!

15 Feb, 2012

 

When I asked you to do a blog on Trees in your garden, I had no idea you had this many!! I really do not know how you fit them all in your not so small garden, ours is small and we have several trees which are totally unsuitable for the smaller garden, which will have to be taken out when we shuffle off to the great garden in the sky lol
Thanks so much Karen for this and for all the info, and so quick too, I love them all, we grew Abies Koreana in the Midlands it makes a huge tree in a very short time, if I can find some old photos, I will put them on!!
Now regarding that Shrub feature........yes please.

15 Feb, 2012

 

that's gone straight into my favourites (and not only for the name-check! *s*). I am going to read this again and again and again, and check out each plant you name.

lol you're right, this is a park for me! I saw a newspaper article that called a 40-metre garden "small", and I thought, What do you call "large", then???

I would have loved a "witch garden" filled with plants associated with witches; haze, witch hazel (of course), broom, willow, and so on.

I've read that one should look at the eventual height of a tree and plant that far away from the house; that'd make quite a large border, and of course, they're talking full-sized trees. it does look sad when you see a full-grown tree in a place where there's obviously not enough room for it; they obviuosly didn't check out "eventual height".

With trees, you're planting a "tower block" habitat for animqals to inhabit at many levels, and so get more wildlife per square foot on the ground!

And to sit under them, lean one's back against them, chill with them ... bliss.

now to starte reading it all over again ...

15 Feb, 2012

 

Great blog K....Your garden is in 1st class nick....:>)

15 Feb, 2012

 

Great collection Karen. The Abies koreana is an intermediate so will be ok for a while, it may accept some retardation from the pot too. I've just ordered an Abies koreana 'Gait' which stays quite narrow, recommended highly for small gardens. It also produces blue cones even as a two year old.

What is the pine next to it in the picture? Is it a sylvestris?

15 Feb, 2012

 

Brilliant! Straight into faves for future reference for my own garden (which is tiny compared to yours) where I share the notion that there is always room for one (more) tree.
Thanks for this, KS.

15 Feb, 2012

 

Loved this blog Karen. I always walk past the 'tree' departments in the nurseries and GCs. Maybe I should think again!!!!
I rather stupidly planted an oak tree sappling that was given to me, right at the back of the garden in the waste land behing the shed. It's not very big around 5ft high but I have managed to find a home for it and it will be going away in the next few weeks!!
Thanks for sharing your lovely garden again.

15 Feb, 2012

 

WHAT A BLOG.
My god Karen that was brilliant. Took me ages to read it all again & again.
I have looked at all the photos of your garden but this blog has made me see it completely differently, amazing.
Dont joke about a blog on shrubs, do it, I can't wait. Then on all the flowers, split into thier groups etc. Lol.
One for favs & Goypidia me thinks.

15 Feb, 2012

 

Wow love the acer KS added to my favs too great blog.

15 Feb, 2012

 

I second Willinilli's suggestion of more blogs - and third and fourth it, too

15 Feb, 2012

 

Straight into favourites. What a brilliant blog. It was better than watching any of the garden programmes. Well done, your garden is fantastic.

16 Feb, 2012

 

Karen as always a a fantastic blog and such an enjoyable garden a real pleasure .

Have you thought of opening to Garden Scotland.

Or letting the Beechgrove Garden see it.

Amazing .

Thankyou

16 Feb, 2012

 

Goodness, what a lot of lovely comments! I really wasn't expecting that...thought you would find it a bit long!

It was a great thing for me to do this blog yesterday. I am having quite a stressful time doing some work for my husband in a role as intermediary in a tricky disciplinary matter. On top of that, I am trying hard to get my weight down to 'healthy' bmi levels. The two in combination are very difficult and all I wanted to do yesterday was EAT! So sitting here for a few hours focusing on this blog was exactly what I needed to stop myself from going mad in the fridge!

Kath, Scott won't have the garden open to the public. He just wouldn't like that at all....far too private a person. I would like to do it of course...to share it with others, but I know from others on here who are in the yellow book that it is very stressful!

Scottish, I think most of us have made similar mistakes with trees. The 'idea' of having an Oak tree, or a Chestnut, or a Larch.....its a dream isn't it? It would be so wonderful to grow those giants!

Severnside....P. Sylvestris Watereri..well spotted! I have a few other dwarf conifers too which i didn't include in the blog, but of course, they would make great 'trees' in a tiny space!

Fran, what an interesting idea...a witch garden! I recently ordered loropetalum 'firedance' http://www.shootgardening.co.uk/plant/loropetalum-chinense-f-rubrum-fire-dance which is a chinese 'Witch Hazel' with evergreen dark red foliage and pink late winter flowers. It grows to 1m....could be good on your balcony. I found one on 'Gardain Bargains' website, but they are pricey. Still, might be a feature for you...birthday pressie to yourself? ;) Mine hasn't arrived yet, but as soon as it does, I'll put it on here.

Shelia! how funny! You trying to get me to plant an Amelanchier! I'm trying to resist planting a Laburnum!! :)).

Next time I have a carb craving, you might find a shrub blog has appeared...but until then...back to the grind :(

16 Feb, 2012

 

So gorgeous !! One of the prettiest gardens , certainly beats mine hands down. Love that acer what a colour!! Your plants and trees are so healthy and great colouring contrasts you have. So tidy too

16 Feb, 2012

 

Also those pink berries look divine!!!

16 Feb, 2012

 

Thank you Paul. I haven't ever been a very competitive person, which in this world sometimes seems to be a bit of a handicap doesn't it? However, it does mean that I am free to enjoy all the gardens I see without feeling the need to compare. Mind you, that doesn't stop me feeling envious of some people's! Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is, thanks for the compliment and I love your garden too. I love your blue fence and your red white and blue themes, and all your building projects (I am hopeless in that area of gardening). I think you have made wonderful use of your space too. And yes, those pink berries are very pretty aren't they? ;)) Thanks!

16 Feb, 2012

 

Lovely Karen just lovely. The trees are amazing, yes and you will find time eventually for a shrub blog I know you will, but maybe it will have to wait until next year as I think you might start to be a bit busy in that beautiful garden very shortly, the spring is coming it is on its way. yipee!!!!!

16 Feb, 2012

 

very good blog Karen :-)

16 Feb, 2012

 

Im not going to give you any more compliments! not because you dont deserve them but because everyone has already said them. I just wanted to say that your blog is just the best I have read on Goy (and there are some very good ones). It contains all the information I need, with honest and helpful comments. I would love you to write more like this. An item on shrubs, roses and perhaps even containers would keep us all going for months. Anyway well done Karen. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this blog which must have taken alot of your time and effort. It is appreciated.

16 Feb, 2012

 

Karen, I have two Loropetalum 'firedance' . . . recommended by Spritzhenry last year when I was looking for purple-leaved shrubs. They are both under my upturned "hanging" baskets, stuffed with straw to keep them safe from the cold!! Quite soon I'll have a look to see if they've survived - just saying this so that you're aware that they're not fully hardy. :))

My OH is also against opening our garden to the public, but he doesn't mind at all having members of my gardening group . . . perhaps you could start a group of like-minded friends(?) (see my profile). It's great fun. :)))

16 Feb, 2012

 

I've looked up most of the trees you name, Karen - *s* I don't think many of them would be happy in my space. I don't mind the idea of keeping a 3-metre tree or shrub down to 2 metres in a container, but when it comes to 20 or 30 metres ... though I have added a few of the smaller ones to my "maybe" list. But I can still read the blog and enjoy it for its own sake.

Maybe we could start a garden group, Sheila, and so get past the "no strangers" rule - GGG - GoY Garden Gang!

16 Feb, 2012

 

Love your beautiful acer Redwine

16 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks everyone for your comments. Poppylover, that is just so kind of you to say those lovely things. I'm so glad that you found the blog useful.

Mushy, the Redwine acer is gorgeous and I've yet to discover it's ultimate height...but it's staying in the pot anyway. :) Thanks!

Mum, I think you are right. I've been stitching up Cal's sweater, but now the sun has come out and I have an urgent job to do out there! lol x

16 Feb, 2012

 

Fran...how about Arbutus Unedo..that would be a must for me if I had a tiny space. :))

16 Feb, 2012

 

I love this blog and it's going in my favs too. Must have 'Pink Pergoda' when I move. I counted 9 trees in my garden and a lot of large shrubs, not a patch on your forest Lol!!

16 Feb, 2012

 

Great blog karensusan, very informitive and just what gardening and blogging is all about, saved to my fave's to.. thankyou :)

16 Feb, 2012

 

Lots of helpful information here Karen.
Well done :o)

16 Feb, 2012

 

checked that one out, Karen: three sites list it as growing up to 8 metres square, though one does say it takes 20-50 years to get to that stage; another lists a "compacta" version, which I'll also cross-check.

Okay, in 20-50 years I might not be around to see how big it is, but - would be a sod to move it even if it was half that size - and even at half that size, it'd take up most of my space *s*

eventual size of the "compacta" seems to be somewhere between 1.5 and 3 metres; which could still a bit on the large-ish side

16 Feb, 2012

 

Fantastic blog, lovely pictures, beautiful garden. Love the Pagoda Sorbus, sounds like something I'd be interested in planting - somewhere or other.
Just one little criticism - your quote that "they" say trees shouldn't be less than 4m from a structure. It's actually 40 feet, so about 12 metres, not 4 - unless the 'tree' in question doesn't get much taller than, say, 15 feet, with a similar spread, i.e., shrub sized.

16 Feb, 2012

 

I was stunned by your blog. I cannot tell you," how interesting", because it was just plain wonderful to read and see. How inventive of you and what foresight. I have a feeling you have a lot of sunlight. My garden here CT. has too much shade, but I will cut down a badly damaged cherry and substitute one of yours. As we talked before, the Parrotia is too big but my husband would think I had gone insane if I cut it. I am faced with the same problem,many houses to cut out. And ugly colors too.

I could go on and on how much I loved the Blog. Thank you so much for doing it.

16 Feb, 2012

 

I am soooo amazed Karen at how many trees you have managed to get into your garden. I was going to suggest the amelanchier. We have 5 in our garden going up the path border and these don't get too big. There is lovely spring flowers and autumn colours. Is there room for one more! lol. The only thing is if you have neighbours who might object to the trees taking light from their garden if they get too tall. Perhaps you should have shown your garden on Alan's show last year.

16 Feb, 2012

 

Hi Rose! That is of course a consideration when planting trees. You don't want to block out your neighbours' light. Luckily my back garden faces NW, so it really isn't an issue except on one side where my neighbour would lose the afternoon sun if I planted big trees. I haven't planted any big trees on that side, except for the Birches which don't block out light really, and only at the bottom of the garden so it really doesn't affect them too much. Actually, they don't use the garden at all except for the children to play, and they haven't planted a single plant in it! So not too much to worry about there! But yes, you're right, it is an important consideration.

Bamboo....you're quite right of course and that is why I put 'any tree', meaning even a really small one, but 4m is what I have heard over and over again, If it had to be 12m that would mean that nobody could have any trees unless they had a very large garden, I certainly couldn't have any. But I'm not disputing that that is what you think is right. I don't write as an expert, merely a gardener, and I think people on here appreciate that.

Fran, I know what you mean, but they are very slow growing and compacta would be lovely! I have that one in a pot. The one I have in the ground (not compacta) grew about 2" last year!

16 Feb, 2012

 

.

16 Feb, 2012

 

Thank you so much everyone for your comments. Wells, I look forward to seeing your new cherry tree!

Rose, thank you, Alan would be welcome here any time! :)

Thanks Annie, DaisyD and TT. Annie, your shrubs are doing a great job. tbh, I wish I'd planted more of them and less trees! I mean, one Pink Pagoda and one Birch would have been much more sensible! :)

16 Feb, 2012

 

..... ;0)))) Lol! And no I've not been drinking x

16 Feb, 2012

 

;) x

16 Feb, 2012

 

Actually, Karensusan, that measurement of 40 feet isn't just from my gardening experience/teaching, there we were told 45 feet - it's also what I learnt in the architect's office I used to work part time in. We used to deal with subsidence quite a lot, and roots were invariably present, which were sent to the lab for ID. Sometimes it was just very large shrubs planted too close to a building - a full grown Prunus laurocerasus within 10 feet, for instance.

16 Feb, 2012

 

Well Karen you`ve had all the much deserved acholades so there is little more for me too say other than its gone on to favourites where it will be much read for all the valuable info you`ve imparted. Thank you.

16 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks Stroller! :)

16 Feb, 2012

 

Karen just to let you know found a Betula Jacquemontii Multistem, actually three trunks in one pot!! and just over 6ft, so chuffed, it is planted and growing as I type lol
Have counted 23 trees in our garden, which I reckon is half the size of your plot, might do, when I have the photos, a blog on Trees not to be grown in a small garden, luckily some of them are still only sticks!! (a bit of a send up blog) and all of them likely to cause subsidence.........say no more.

16 Feb, 2012

 

Looking forward to that blog too Dotty ;O))

16 Feb, 2012

 

What a marvellous blog on trees you've written here, Karen! :-)) I've 3 golden Conifers on my balcony two of which are almost 6 ft high after 9-10 years! Trouble is the wind keeps blowing them over!

I loved your descriptions & the lovely photos! You've made a very interesting blog indeed! :-))

16 Feb, 2012

 

Lol Dotty you are a gem! :)) Thank you so much! xx Congratulations on your new tree!

Balconly, thank you so much for that lovely comment. I have two small golden conifers in the garden as well...don't they smell wonderful? and as you say, nice and slow growing. :)

16 Feb, 2012

 

Excellent blog Karen, straight into my favourites for future reference. I absolutely amazed at how many trees you've managed to squeeze into your garden, how on earth have you managed it. We currently have four in my parents garden, all very very well established (seeing as they were full grown when we moved in 21 years ago lol). Then theres 3 (also well established) in my OHs front garden, but the two connifers will be taken out soon, they are much too close to the house, not much more than 1m away. I'll be back to this blog when picking out new trees for the garden :)

16 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks Sam. As I say above, the effect is something of a tree hedge for privacy, but eventually some of them will have be pruned. :) Glad you enjoyed the blog so much!

16 Feb, 2012

 

great novel.. i mean blog karen lol
lovely trees and very informative, cant deside which tree i like as i love them all, lovely pics to :o)))

16 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks San...it was a bit of a tome wasn't it? ;)

16 Feb, 2012

 

Here I am back reading your wonderful blog again Karen if we cold give a Gold Star you certainly would get it.

You really feel you are in the garden with you when we read your blogs.

By the way do you cover your magnolias with fleece?

I did with my young ones last yr and they are still covered.

Not sure if had done right thing but was just to give them a wee bit added protection after the previous winter.

17 Feb, 2012

 

I looked for the apple trees you mention, Karen: found Suttons Seeds site [try saing that five times quickly!], thought they should be okay, well known for seeds etc.

They had plenty of apple trees, but no sizes given! emailed 'em (evantually found a "contact us"!) to ask them to include height-spread in future, actually got an asnwer, which don't often happen when I email websites - include it below in case it's of use to anyone:

"The smallest apple varieties we stock are Maloni Lilly and Maloni Sally and grow to about half the size of a normal apple tree [very useful if you don't know the size of a normal apple tree!] making them ideal for containers on a patio.
They are not self fertile and would need another apple variety growing nearby. They would pollinate each other. They would grow to a height of about 4-5ft in height with a similar spread [ah!].
The other varieties we supply would reach a height of approximately 8-10ft with a spread of about 6-8ft although the would be a little smaller in a container"

So it looks as though I'll go for their Lily and Sally, if I go for any at all - from them, anyway; other sites might have others of similar sizes.

17 Feb, 2012

 

Im back a second time to KarenS:) probably the best blog ive read on goy, like the lager advert lol..
I was wondering, (no pressure) if there was a chance that you were going to write a Clematis Blog ;) ive been searching the web for one for my Pergola, I thought of you while searching as i know you love them and have a gorgeous varied collection, I saw one i liked, Freckles something and was going to order it but realised it was winter flowering! Any advice would be appreciated. Dee..

17 Feb, 2012

 

Yes Dee , you made the right decision. The winter flowering ones don't do well this far north. Pity isn't it? :)) Still, there are some lovely ones you could have. Now if you tell me a little bit about your pergola, it's site, and how big you want the clematis to grow and when you would like it to be in flower...what colours you like, I can certainly give you some names of ones that do well for me here. :) Any preference on pruning? Are you ok with having dead thatch all winter or would you like something that disappears to re-emerge from the ground every year? Big flowers, small flowers etc.....get back to me...pm if you like :)

17 Feb, 2012

 

Sorry for late reply KarenS, just came in from work. Lots of sunshine in this area, about 6/7 hours in summer, summer flowering preferred, dont mind if it dies down in winter, big flowers, the pergola will prob be 7ft plus so a tall growing one, I liked the freckles (cream with dark spots) as if i need to explain to you what it looks like lol
or exotic looking, red or purple, wow, never thought there was so much to think about, your a star Karen, thankyou so much :)

17 Feb, 2012

 

No problem, you know I like to help as much as I can, especially where clems are concerned! :)) Will have a think, probably get back to you on Sunday. Very tired now, very stressful and challenging day working for OH :( I'll be out all day tomorrow at the Scottish Rock Garden Club Early Spring Bulb display at Dunblane...I'll take my camera with me! :)

17 Feb, 2012

 

No hurry, its only feb, i have loads of time KarenS, have a great day tomorrow and a lovely relaxing weekend.. Dee..

17 Feb, 2012

 

:)) Thank you very much DaisyD! You too! :))

18 Feb, 2012

 

Wow Karen! So informative too. I love your sorbus pink pagoda. I recently bought a e. gunnii, it's a single stem, about 4 tall and it's bending...what should I do? I want to keep it in a pot. I used to have Niphophila? (forget how to spell it) but that grew as it wished in my old garden and never needed pruning. I too am going to favourite this blog for ideas and reference:-)

18 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks Bornagain. The Eucalyptus apparently like to grow in impoverished soil. They send down a long tap-like root, and if they can't get down they tend to bend. I think that's what happened to mine, because when I took it out, the root was going round and round as if it were pot bound if you know what i mean (it wasn't in a pot). I think compaction was the issue for it...such a pity as it was a lovely young tree and had set fruit two years running, and it was giving us plenty of privacy too! Ah...sigh! I had one in a pot for a year and it did ok, but it was only about 3' tall. I think you may have to plant it in the earth, but I am no expert on them and am only saying what I heard on GQT some time ago. Perhaps you could just try staking it to begin with? :)) Thanks for you nice comment!

18 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks Ks....now where can I put it?....hmmmm:-)

18 Feb, 2012

 

Ooops I meant to ask, are the flowers of S. Pink Pagoda only pongy if you actually go right up and sniff, or do they 'perfume' the air? Also are all your roses evergreen this year? Mine all seem to have lost hardly, if any, leaf:-)

18 Feb, 2012

 

Yes, I have got a few with all their leaves still on BA, but not all..isn't it lovely..we have been very lucky this winter so far but today was freezing cold :( Pink Pagoda, and I believe the other Sorbus flowers too, are pongy and will perfume the air around them with pong too. It's not a stench...just a very heavy pong which I do not care for. :) I believe Sanbaz has the same with hers which is a different variety..you could ask her.

18 Feb, 2012

 

I've been thinking again about all your trees and any problems that may occur. I am going to quote from the Gardeners World book by Alan Titchmarsh.It is quite long, so bear with me.
"The first thing that will worry you is their height, but the heights given for most of the trees seem to be far from small but these are ultimate heights , often achieved over 50 years or more by slow growing trees.In a way , they are misleading. Most gardeners never stay in one place that long, and if they do, they can take remedial action when the tree outgrows its welcome. I think it is time that gardeners treated their trees as they treat other plants in their garden - enjoying them while they are looking good and growing well, then, when they go over the hill or take up too much room , replacing them with new ones. This is a controversial stance , I know, but we are not talking about stately oaks in parkland , towering beeches in the way of a proposed by-pass , or majestic cedar trees on a spacious lawn. In lots of cases , small garden trees can be pruned to keep them within bounds. Provided a tree is planted far enough away from a house so that it has enough light and wont threaten the foundations - 20 foot is sufficient with all but the most vigorous of trees- there will be no cause for alarm as it heads skywards.Some trees , such as Japanese maples have such a small root system that they can be safely planted within 6 foot of the house with no risk at all. Rest assured, all the trees in this section will give little cause for concern for at least 20 years."
I hope this now puts your mind at rest. All the trees in the section mentioned were all of the trees you have planted.
We have scots pines in our garden which have been here for hundreds of years and one is just outside the back door. The reason being is that we are on sand and the roots will go straight down searching for water.
I think the only one which will cause problems in the near future is the Eucalyptus.In this chapter , he says that this can be cut back to the ground in the spring and the new shoots that arise have the juvenile foliage again.r

19 Feb, 2012

 

Rose you are a star...this underlines my theory that everything I've learned I've learned from a certain Mr A. Titchmarsh! :)) Thanks x

19 Feb, 2012

 

Your very welcome. Enjoy your trees .x

19 Feb, 2012

 

Yes, Rose, I will...you too x :)

19 Feb, 2012

 

I couldnt find Acer 'Redwine' in the RHS Encyclopaedia.
Someone (? Pauls Garden) named it as 'Corallinum' but the plant expert at my GC said she couldnt get me one.
Wonder if it has another name ?

20 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks for that, Rose! I'm going to copy and paste it into a Word document and keep it on my pc where I'll [hope!] be able to find it again.

When I think about plants, I tend to think of them as well as me; I don't like the idea of "disposable" plants - one home-décor book said you could brighten up a kitchen by putting ivy on high shelves; it's not an ideal location for them, it said but you can always throw them away and replace them when they start to show that they're not happy there.

I'll try to look after plants even when they've gone past their best and it's obvously toime to let them go and move on but *s* my plants are my babies, and I don't throw them away when they've ceased to be "useful"!

sigh, I need to get some therapy - or a life.

RHS has let me down a few times too, Diana: try Gogole? it should offer several sites for the plant, or at least an alternative name or spelling.

20 Feb, 2012

 

Diana, I had the same problem. It seems to be all one word 'Redwine' and I did get a couple of 'hits' on Google, but I didn't manage to find any growing details for it. It may well have another name.....I got mine from a local GC...next time I'm there, I'll ask! :)

20 Feb, 2012

 

I tried the BBC plantfinder, Shoot and Dave's Garden, using just the "redwine" otherwise you get every aceer they have! no resutls anywhere.

ha, the only results on Google were from GoY, probably asking where to find it - followed one link ... right to this very blog!

Google asked did I mean "acer red wine", thought it worth trying; Wiki has something on acers, wine-red, hree's the link, dunno if it's the same plant -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_palmatum

tried some more: it's really irritating when the search turns up a site claiming to have something, but when you go to the site and search it turns up zero results! I even copied "Acer palmatum Red Wine" from their Google blurb and pasted it into their site search, but still nothing.

this page has some "information" - I couldn't get it all because it was half off my screen - it helpfully told me that my sreen res was too low and I should change it, but what's the point of getting the whole page when it won't be big enough for me to see?
http://www.novaplantinfo.com/ArticleInfos/View/170030?returnURL=%2FSearch%3FMaterialGroup%3D16%26page%3D19%26pageSize%3D50

another site had a link to it, but just to say that it didn't have any pages matching the name - I did find a couple of other sites, but my knowledge of foreign languages is limited to realising something's not in English!

20 Feb, 2012

 

lol...yes, I also got a foreign link Fran! Hmmm...I must have been wrong about it being 'redwine'...the link you have given me above does seem to be the same plant from the description. I bought it in one of those '2 for £25' offers they have at Dobbies. I got that one and 'Shaira'. I needed more for my 'japanese' corner, so it seemed a fair deal and red wine is stunning I must say. Keep a look out for it in GCs in the autumn, which is when they usually get them in in bulk and sell them off at a good price. They come with a very 'mass produced' glossy label with hardly any info. on at all...you know the type (grrrrr!).

20 Feb, 2012

 

lol indeed I do, I keep buying supermarket plants that have that kind of label - needs sun, don't eat, and that's about it. sigh.

20 Feb, 2012

 

:)) or the usual....moist, well-drained soil that doesn't dry out, in full sun!! :))

20 Feb, 2012

 

"moist, well-drained soil that doesn't dry out, in full sun"

I've noticed that on lots of plant labels..
In fact if I needed the correct sun and soil conditions for most plant labels, I would come away from the garden centres empty-handed. Lol.

20 Feb, 2012

 

yep, indeed, TT. I think they assume that people check up before hand and only buy plants they've already investigated - no such thing as impulse-bying ...

20 Feb, 2012

 

Agreed! I wish we could get them to give us the proper info...proper names, latin and common names, correct proportions and how long to maturity, the soil requirements and sunlight preferences. It doesn't seem like too much to ask! I don't mind when it's a small local nursery and you are just getting a hand-written label. But if you're going to go to the trouble of putting a pretty pic. on a large plastic tag, why not go the 'whole hog' and give us the info we need to grow the blooming thing (sorry no pun meant there! ) :))

21 Feb, 2012

 

at least give us the proper name in latin and the common name - and variety! - to give us a sporting chance of being able to find the info online!

lol or, just thought of this: an in-store computer index; taht would have all the info, and one could just print it or email the page to onself!

21 Feb, 2012

 

Good idea Fran! :)

21 Feb, 2012

 

now all we have to do is sell it to the shops ... I mean, get them to adopt it, not literally sell it

21 Feb, 2012

 

;)

21 Feb, 2012

 

WOW got to the end at last,its all been said and I agree,what a LOVELY garden.I'm looking out the window at mine now......wont tell you what I'm thinking Karen but I am feeling quite inadiquate (:0(.......love your acers are they happy in pots,I have a couple,one in a pot,how often do you feed/change soil?

22 Feb, 2012

 

I'm afraid I am quite 'erratic' on that score Poppy. Best to ask a question if you want that kind of advice. There are folk on here who give that kind of info. As for feeling inadequate, please don't! It's about enjoying Gardening not comparing gardens! :)) Have fun! :))

22 Feb, 2012

 

here's how to POT an acer, Poppy; 1st hit on a google search
http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/projects/planting/how-to-plant-an-acer-in-a-pot/1.html

tbey must do how to GROW, which was my orignal search, and how to CARE

22 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks Fran :)

23 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks for that fran,will definately check it out.

23 Feb, 2012

 

I've got a how-to of exactly this name, that I copied and pasted from somewhere, can't rememebr where, that's what I was looking for, the link to that article.

As they're not my words, would it be proper to post them in GoY?

ta-da!! went to have a look at the article, saw it began with "you will need" so guessed it would be eHow, so added that to the search words - I still haven't found exactly the one that I have, but here's a link to one, and it might lead you to others - the right hand side of eHow pages have links to similar projects

http://www.ehow.com/how_8241971_grow-acer-palmatum-cuttings.html

23 Feb, 2012

 

Fran, can i just say. I love you, your personallity, your helpfullness, how cool you are, your just lovely :)))

KarenS, ive read this blog again, look at all these comments, talking about Acer's. I think ive lost one :( it died off last summer, leaves turned brown.. and there's no buds yet. do yours have little fat buds showing or am i just being dramatic?

23 Feb, 2012

 

thanks, YoungDD - do you want to see the article I originally saved and now can't find again to give you the link? shouldn't take long to post it as blog

23 Feb, 2012

 

Young DD...I'm sorry to tell you, my acers are all fat with buds ...sorry ;)))

23 Feb, 2012

 

Ahhhh, i think ive lost it then :( Bugga, was a beut as well, I have another one full of buds, so i sort of knew.. Thanks Karen ...

Its OK Fran. ill find it, lost the acer anyway..

23 Feb, 2012

 

OH no, I wonder why? Leave it a while and see if it starts growing again Daisy. What a shame :( Still, another planting opportunity eh? :)

23 Feb, 2012

 

p.s. I lost one last year...phoenix. Bright pink. It just couldn't survive the winter and it was only a tiny baby one too. :( it happens :(

23 Feb, 2012

 

ok, YoungDD, there's plenty out there, it's just hacking through the exact one-s you need.

23 Feb, 2012

 

Ill leave it to see what happens :) It was My first acer, it was in a pot burried in a border, last spring i decided to liberate it and took it out the pot and put it back in the border, bad idea. it was great tho untill summer when it started turning brown, It took untill autumn for every branch to die off, weird... Ahh never mind, if its gone its gone lol..

23 Feb, 2012

 

too much too soon? maybe it needed acclimatising, or is Acer one of those "plant-where-it'll-grow" plants that doesn't like root disturbance once it's established?

23 Feb, 2012

 

Hm....I'm not sure Fran. I've kept most of mine in pots. Funnily the Phoenix only died completely once it was in the ground...I thought I was helping it by planting it out, but definitely not! They really don't cope very well with strong winds, but I wasn't aware of any problems with moving them at all....not when young. DD, is there a chance it was actually dying when you bought it? Could have been the dreaded weevils.......do you have a nice acidic soil there? Mind you, i believe they aren't even that choosy about soil.....not sure what happened there for you, but don't let it put you off. Some are tougher than others. I was never able to keep the Acer with the pink and cream variations at all, the wind just killed it right off.

23 Feb, 2012

 

I'd think that some plants can be "ill" for some time before they begin to show serious signs, and by the time they do it's too late to do anything about it.

24 Feb, 2012

 

Karen, I think your right, it probably was dying when i took it out the pot, it was its 4th year in that pot, it was always beautifull and on fire in autumn, i think i should of planted it in the border the year before which i intended but forgot! So, I killed the Acer hahaha.. it was the first plant i bought when i started the tropical border, well, hub bought because "He always wanted one" I told him last night and he said, Aww is me plant deed :))) I dont think he ever looked at it hahaha...

24 Feb, 2012

 

Fran your right there, ill buy another one because that border wont look right without one and also, i love them :)

24 Feb, 2012

 

When I was looking for acer info on here, I found there was already a question on here with useful answers. Unfortunately two people disagreed 'strongly' in comments and it turned into an argument lol, quite funny really. I think the main thing acers need is some shelter from the wind and most need some shade from afternoon sun. In my little garden some are north facing, some east and some west. all (fingers crossed) seem happy so far:-)

24 Feb, 2012

 

I agree with you BA.....or..alternatively we could have a fight about it....but no, I'm just not into that...besides which ....I really do agree! ;)

24 Feb, 2012

 

Lol Karen...disappointed about the fisticuffs though:-)

24 Feb, 2012

 

It's a shame, but one doesn't seem to be able to add questions to "favourites", so the only way to save an intertesting questoin or informative ansnwer is to put the page url into your browser's links - at least, that's the only way I've found, if there is a way to add them to a GoY faves list, please share!

It's a shame when personality gets in the way: one would hope that people could agree to disagree on occasion.

lol what was the question you found?? might check it out!

24 Feb, 2012

 

I had to go shopping yesterday and took the opportunity to renew my Garden Club membership. I was delighted to find an end of line Cytisus Battandierii at a knock down price. It is looking very healthy and and given that yours survived the -10 last year has raised my hopes that it can survive here. My daughter has had no problems with her one either. I will grow it as a small tree. Brilliant blog.

29 Feb, 2012

 

Thanks Scotsgran and what a great buy! :))

29 Feb, 2012

 

It was a fantastic buy Karen. It pays to be a GC member as the 10% discount and a £1.80 voucher from previous purchases gave me a tree discounted from the original price of £19.99 for only £4.50. I would not have risked it at £20.

29 Feb, 2012

 

Brilliant! :)

1 Mar, 2012

 

Only just come across your amazing Blog Karen .Superb and going in favourites right away .Just what i need at the planning stage .Thank you so much :-))

27 May, 2012

 

Great Susie, that's brilliant that it is useful for you! :))

27 May, 2012

 

Great blog, enjoyed snoopin' around your garden. Great selection of trees. I love trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees. Trees.

25 Jan, 2016

 

that is more than a blog. Great reading and information. I will definitely have to scrutinize it more carefully. Wonderful pics, good work A++++

1 Feb, 2016

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