Even the smallest garden will benefit from the addition of a tree – but which type to choose?

Trees contribute height, structure and a focal point, and also encourage wildlife and help the environment. Those of us with small gardens may find it challenging to choose a tree that will remain in scale and not grow too big, shading out other plants and indeed the house. When deciding on a tree for small gardens there are a number of points to bear in mind:

  • Choose a tree with more than one season of interest – spring flowers and autumn colour for example. A tree that flowers for a week and is dull for the rest of the year is not an option when you have limited space.
  • Try to choose a tree that is slow-growing. Fast growth may seem like a good idea when you want instant results, but the tree will grow and grow until it outgrows its space.
  • The roots of a tree are also important. Trees with large root systems compete with your other plantings and can even become a problem for paving and foundations.

The perfect small-garden tree for… spring showtime

Cornus florida or dogwood is a slow-growing tree with white or pink bracts in spring, covering the tree for weeks on end. It also has lovely red autumn colours. With many species not growing more than 3m high, it is ideal for small spaces and is suitable for semi-shade, in a sheltered position.


Image Source: houzz.ie

The perfect small-garden tree for… fragrance

Not many plants smell like brown sugar, so Cercidiphyllum japonicum – or Katsura – is a tree with a fragrant twist. Ultimately a medium-sized tree, it has a lovely light, delicate canopy. The heart-shaped leaves unfurl bronze in spring and gradually change to fresh green, then eventually turn to tones of yellow and orange in autumn at which time the leaves give off a scent of brown sugar. The overall shape is upright with a very ordered and elegant appearance.

Read full article at www.houzz.ie

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What you need: 4 x lengths of timber board (similar to scaffold planks or railway sleepers), two each of equal length.  This is the frame...


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