Garden Plants And Flowers

Garden Plants And Flowers

Trees for Dry, Sunny Sites


This wide-spreading tree with greyish brown bark has ash-like, deep green leaves, silver-blue when young. Dense, stubby spikes of flowers, white, tinged the palest slate-blue, are produced in summer, and held in clusters above the branches.


Unless it is trained to a single stem, this evergreen tree, with its dense, bushy crown, will remain shrubby. The leathery leaves are grey-green with a white margin. Small, scented, reddish purple flowers appear in spring. Karo is excellent for mild coastal areas.


The grey-brown bark of this round-headed tree is prominently ridged. Its ash-like leaves emerge late in the season, and the loose heads of small white, lilac-tinged pea-flowers are borne from late summer into early autumn.

Drooping seed pods follow.


The habit of this distinct and handsome oak is broadly columnar when young, and becomes more rounded with age. Its upswept branches are densely covered with large, regularly lobed leaves, which are usually retained into late winter.


A relative of the bay (Laurus nobilis), this dense, bushy-headed evergreen tree produces clusters of delicate yellowish flowers in spring. Its bright green, leathery leaves are pungent if crushed and this vapour may cause nausea if inhaled.

Trees for Watersides

UEW SIGHTS, to me, are more appealing than a weeping willow growing on a river bank.

Not many of us are fortunate enough to have a river running through our garden, but there is no reason why a suitable tree should not be planted next to a pool or stretch of water. As long as you maintain a sense of scale, the possibilities are endless.


Eventually a large, broad-spreading tree, this has much-divided, ash-like leaves and long, drooping tassels of green flowers. Its green, winged fruits follow. Suckers that appear should always be removed, unless you want to encourage a grove.


This is a fast-growing tree of conical habit. In early spring, before the leaves unfurl, its branches are draped with yellowish orange male catkins that can be up to 15cm (6in) long. Its toothed leaves are boldy veined. Older trees have pale grey bark.


The River Birch is distinctive, and quite unlike the more usual white-stemmed kinds. The bark of the stem and main branches is peeling and shaggy, pinkish grey in color, maturing to dark brown. Its leaves are diamond-shaped and pale beneath.


This is a popular subject for the waterside, but it is too large for the small gardens in which it is often planted. It has long curtains of weeping, golden yellow branches in winter. These are covered with slender, bright green leaves in spring and summer.


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