GAR­DEN clip­pings

Tiny trees for smaller gar­dens-our ex­pert Karen Mur­phy finds the per­fect fit for your space...

YOURS (UK) - - Go Outdoors -

No mat­ter the size of your gar­den, I can guar­an­tee there’s a lit­tle tree just for you, per­fect to add style and sub­stance to that cor­ner you’ve been mean­ing to re­vamp. It’s the prime treeplant­ing sea­son, so now’s the time to de­cide which one’s right for you. I urge you to plant a tree or two, if you have any room, for many rea­sons. It au­to­mat­i­cally adds fo­cus and ma­tu­rity to any gar­den, and a dis­tinct, nat­u­ral touch. Trees pro­vide the ul­ti­mate shel­ter, nest­ing sites and food for birds and other wildlife, and bring year-round joy in leaf, berry and flower. If home-grown beauty is im­por­tant to you, plump for a na­tive. Crab ap­ples, holly and rowan all stay very com­pact, never usu­ally reach­ing more than 8m tall at the very most. All will grow in most lo­ca­tions, as is the nat­u­ral wont of a na­tive, and some don’t mind a bit of shade, par­tic­u­larly holly. The crab ap­ple va­ri­ety ‘Ad­mi­ra­tion’ is nat­u­rally dwarf, avail­able from www. cro­cus.co.uk, and reaches 4m tall. Grow it in a large pot and it’ll be per­fectly happy. There are many trees you can pop in a pot – not all na­tive, though. Acers are a prime ex­am­ple, fan­tas­ti­cally colour­ful lit­tle trees that are slow-grow­ing and real stand-out fea­tures. The very best are ‘Osakazuki’, a flam­ing scarlet-leaved beauty in au­tumn, or one of the dis­sected-leaved types, such as green and red-tinged ‘Emer­ald Lace’. Use a slightly acidic com­post, with equal parts soil-based John Innes mixed with er­i­ca­ceous. If your plants jos­tle for air space, go for a colum­nar species, such as the slim cherry tree ‘Amanogawa’, cov­ered in lovely cherry blooms in spring but with up­right stems that stay pen­cil thin. For a sense of per­ma­nence and year­round struc­ture, even though you might have very lit­tle space, you can plant up a mini for­est of dwarf conifers. No need for a great big, over­bear­ing ley­landii! You can get a whole range of colours – ju­niper ‘Blue Star’ is one such bright blue beauty, at 40cm tall and a me­tre wide, and tiny spruce ‘JW Daisy’s White’ is a de­light in yel­low-white. To fin­ish off your colour­ful trio, fluffy lit­tle Pi­nus mugo ‘Humpy’ is a charm­ingly named rounded pine in dark green (pic­tured). Add them to an alpine plant­ing scheme for su­perb ef­fect.

The cute and com­pact Pi­nus mugo

Karen writes for Gar­den News magazine which is packed full of tips, in­spi­ra­tion, plant and prod­uct news and great money-sav­ing of­fers! On sale ev­ery Tues­day, or sub­scribe and try your first four is­sues for just £1. Call 01858 438884 or visit www.great­magazines.co.uk/YFIG and quote YFIG. T&Cs ap­ply.

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