Trees for small gardens revisited

Posted: Monday 17 November 2014
by James Alexander-Sinclair

I am very proud of the fact that I wrote what I believe may be the most read gardenersworld.com blog. It was about trees for small gardens...


A few weeks ago I wrote about how much I had been enjoying  the changing colours on the Boston ivy (Parthenocissus tricuspidata) opposite our front door. It was, as these things always are, a fleeting moment of glory that is not over. The brightly coloured leaves have all fallen and all that is left are piles of fading leaf stems that lie, like pick-up-sticks, on the ground.

That is all rather appropriate for all things must pass and the process of glory fading is one that we gardeners are used to seeing. It is part of life.

If I sound a little maudlin then I have good reason as this is the last regular blog that I will write for gardenersworld.com. The first one was seven years ago and in the intervening time I have written over two hundred blogs for you, good readers. Together we have explored subjects as diverse as bluebells, bamboos, compost and snails. It has been an education for me thinking of something to write about every fortnight and always interesting to read your comments and contributions.

I am very proud of the fact that I wrote what I believe may be the most read gardenersworld.com blog. It was about trees for small gardens (back in 2008 and illustrated with a picture of me at least five years older than that!) so it would seem more than appropriate to add a couple more trees as my swan song. Just to make in interesting I have decided to make them evergreens.

Schefflera taiwaniana: this was brought back to this country by the intrepid Welsh planthunters, Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones and is tall, glossy and exotic. It is very hardy although, in my experience, could do with a bit of shelter from the coldest winds especially when it is first planted.

Eriobotrya japonica, the Loquat tree: if you lived in the South of France this would produce little Orange fruits but I am guessing that most of you live in a more temperate climate and would grow this handsome tree for its slightly quilted foliage.It makes a great specimen tree in milder parts of the country.

So, in the immortal words of the Von Trapp children ... so long, farewell, auf weidersehn, adieu. That said, I hope that I will pop back on occasions to write the odd thing. In the meantime, bonne chance to gardenersworld.com and my thanks and best wishes to you.





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cloud8 17/11/2014 at 21:53

Nooooooo James!

Salino 17/11/2014 at 23:15

..I agree....nooooo...lol... in that I didn't like many of James's choices, or at least I don't have any experience of them which is more to the point...

..my choices would be:

Sorbus vilmorinii

Sorbus cashmiriana

Sorbus 'Joseph Rock'

Prunus 'Spire'

Amelanchier 'Ballerina'

Sophora Japonica 'pendula'

Eucalyptus if suitably pruned

a Cornus kousa variety...

Cotinus 'Grace' which can be trained as a small tree

can't think of any others offhand...

Fairygirl 18/11/2014 at 08:00

I love the ornamental pear - Pyrus salicifolius but more importantly, I love reading anything James writes. Always amusing and entertaining and his descriptions often make me laugh out loud 

Love those three Sorbus as well Salino

Invicta2 18/11/2014 at 08:59

I would add:

Betula pendula Youngii

Sorbus sargentiana

Malus Golden hornet

Genista aetnensis

Daintiness 18/11/2014 at 09:42

I love my Cornus kousa when it flowers,  the strawberry like  fruits disappoint me as they are few and far between but it is just colouring up beautifully for autumn.

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