Tree planting season is coming to an end so now is a great time to think about investing in a multi-functional specimen tree to get Plant a tree before spring. It’s important to look at the end size of a tree compared to the size of your garden – you don’t want a 20m high Scots Pine in a small back garden in 10 years time!
There are many benefits to using the beautifully named Mophead maple (Acer Platanoides ‘Globosum’) within a garden planting scheme, including its autumn colour. Its round tight canopy carries a contemporary look which allows underplanting of bulbs and gives it the ‘mophead’ name.
Another highly recommended drought-tolerant indigenous small tree is the Mountain Pine (Pinus mugo) – pictured above – with which you can create a strong and striking evergreen structure within the garden. This dwarf variety gives you the year-round colour and structure of a pine without worrying about its end-height.
The other garden tree I would always recommend as a specimen tree or indeed a hedge, is the Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). No other tree provides as much habitat for insects, while its berries are also loved by birds. It has both beautiful spring flowers and a stunning yellow autumn leaf. If you want a beautiful pink flower, instead of the standard white, take a look at the Paul’s Scarlet variety, which never fails to impress.
I was just taking a look at the new-look plans for Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, which will see a £25m redevelopment. This historic area has long been an area of contention after it was transformed from classical sunken gardens, which were laid into the former hospital basement, to a flat, uninspiring open square.
The stand-alone concrete wall, dubbed the Berlin Wall, was designed by Japanese artist Tadao Ando after the 1996 IRA bombing, completed in 2002 for the Commonwealth Games and was removed in 2020.
I’m looking forward to seeing how high quality landscape design can hopefully transform this fairly dull area of a very vibrant city. A new art installation and lighting should bring a more contemporary feel into the area. The addition of hardy but contemporary planting scheme would soften the harsh feel of the open space.