Plants

5 trees that work hard in all seasons

0 Written by Lisa on 21st Oct 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Autumn colours in Wales Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I love the autumn when the leaves start to turn and the colours become warm and vibrant.  This year it seems to be taking a while to get going, in fact yesterday it was a barmy 20 degrees in Surrey, but there are some signs that the trees are turning.

Choosing an appropriate tree for your garden can be a difficult business, especially in the UK where there are literally hundreds of varieties that will happily grow.

In small gardens particularly the tree or trees that you choose really do have to work hard for their place so it’s important that they offer some sort of interest for at least three seasons.

I’ve picked out five species here that are great for small gardens and some even work hard during all four seasons…

Amelanchier larmarckii

Amelanchier lamarckii blossom

This is a great small tree which prefers an acid soil.  It has blossom in the spring, followed by green leaves which turn a brilliant warm red-orange in the autumn.  Widely available as multi-stem specimens, they also provide shape and structure in winter after the leaves have fallen.  Add some subtle up-lighting and it will come to life even after dark.

Acer Griseum

Acer griseum bark

I’ve featured the Acer griseum before, but I just love the copper-coloured peeling bark which gives this tree its name…the paperbark maple.  In summer it has green light foliage which turns a rich autumn colour and then in winter the bark simply shines, especially when the sun catches it.  Like the Amelanchier, this is also available as a multi-stem which helps to give an added dimension to a small garden.

Sorbus ‘Joseph Rock’

Sorbus Joseph Rock Lisa Cox Garden Designs

A small and well behaved tree with white spring blossom and green leaves that turn a rich red in autumn alongside yellow berries which last long after the leaves have fallen, providing interest and food for the birds as the cold months materialise.

Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii

Betula utilis var Jaquemontii

Silver birch grow fast so they’re great trees if you don’t have the patience to wait for them to mature.  This variety of birch has brilliant white bark which simply glows all year round, but especially in winter when contrasted with other colourful stems such as the red stems of cornus alba sibirica. 

I love birch because they cast dappled shade that takes away the heat of the sun in the summer without cutting out the light.  ‘Jacquemontii’ is also readily available as a multi-stem which, like the amelanchier and acer griseum, looks fabulous with some subtle uplighters to highlight the stems after dark.

Acer palmatum ‘Sangu-Kaku’

Acer palmatum Sango Kaku by Oakridgeshrubbery

Most acers have gorgeous foliage, many of which turn a rich colour in autumn, but this variety has coral-coloured bark too which looks especially spectacular in the winter.  The leaves in spring are a pinkish yellow which turn green in summer and then a rich yellow in autumn.

 

Images: Lisa Cox, Oak Ridge Shrubbery

A visit to Sussex Prairies

4 Written by Lisa on 9th Sep 2014 in Inspiration, Plants

Sussex Prairies Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I missed a visit to Sussex Prairies a couple of weeks ago so as the weather was lovely at the weekend we decided to pay a visit.  I’ve been wanting to go for ages! Read more

Calamagrostis…one of my favourite grasses

0 Written by Lisa on 12th Aug 2014 in Garden Flowers, Plants

Contemporary garden design for a modern mews house Sutton 10 `

I love Calamagrostis, or Feather Reed-grass as it’s commonly known, it’s one of my favourite grasses. Read more

The June stars of my garden

0 Written by Lisa on 11th Jun 2014 in Plants

Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote Lisa Cox Garden Designs

Hasn’t it been fabulous to spend some time outside over the past week or so.  My garden this year has gone bonkers, I think because until now we’ve had quite a lot of rain.  But there’s lots in flower so I thought I’d share some pictures of the stars of the show at the moment. Read more

More bluebells in the Surrey Hills

0 Written by Lisa on 29th Apr 2014 in Inspiration, Plants

Winkworth Arboretum in April Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I had a frivolous day off yesterday to go walking with a good friend of mine.  We chose a route that would take in some bluebells and we weren’t disappointed.  The walk went from Milford to Godalming in Surrey and took in Winkworth Arboretum as well as many other bluebells woods along the way. I didn’t fancy carrying my SLR around with me, but did take some images with my pocket camera and they’ve come out reasonably well considering. Read more

Searching for bluebells

0 Written by Lisa on 22nd Apr 2014 in Inspiration, Plants

Bluebells in White Down Surrey Lisa Cox Garden Designs

I hope you had a lovely Easter!?  We made the most of the good weather and went in search of bluebells.  They’re out early this year and, although they need a bit more time to be fully at their best, they still looked pretty spectacular. Read more

10 plants waking up in my garden

0 Written by Lisa on 18th Mar 2014 in Plants

Tree peony emerging Lisa Cox Garden Designs

We were in France last weekend and even after just a couple of days away I noticed how much the garden has woken up when we got back. Read more

First signs of spring at RHS Garden Wisley – Part Two

2 Written by Lisa on 14th Mar 2014 in Inspiration, Plants

crocus at RHS Wisley Garden Lisa Cox Designs

On Tuesday I shared some images of RHS Garden Wisley, which is feeling very spring like now.  I took so many images of the spring flowers that I thought I’d share them with you in a separate blog post. Read more

Ilex crenata – a brilliant alternative to Box

0 Written by Lisa on 14th Feb 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Victorian driveway edging Lisa Cox Garden Designs

If you read my blog on Tuesday then you’ll know that I planted a double hedge in the front garden in North London.  My client was a bit worried about box blight so we decided instead to use Ilex crenata (Japanese Holly) for the low hedge. Read more

Front garden design tips: What about the plants?

6 Written by Lisa on 7th Feb 2014 in Design Tips, Plants

Front garden design London Lisa Cox

This is the last post in my blog series about front gardens.  I hope you’ve found it useful and now feel inspired to tackle your own? Read more

Lisa Cox Welcome

I specialise in helping families to turn their gardens into an extension of their home and into a space that can be used and enjoyed all year round.

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