You could be forgiven for thinking there are only a few trees available to grow in your gardens. A quick walk around any neighbourhood sees the usual suspects; from birch to weeping willow; ornamental cherries to conifers!
Plus, trees can be thought of as huge specimens, which take over a whole garden. But, that doesn’t have to be the case; some trees are so slow-growing they’ll always stay compact, whilst others are genuinely much smaller, much like over-sized shrubs!
So, where do we start?? How about the tree that changes its clothes at least 3 times in the season? Cercidiphyllum, more colloquially known as Katsura Tree, is suitable for a small garden and will intrigue you with the way the leaves appear all along each branch! Those leaves also move from spring ruby red to summer fresh green to autumn burning embers! They also smell of toffee when crushed! I bet you can’t resist one now.
Paulownia is another remarkable tree for the small garden, admittedly only when its coppiced (cut back to base each year), but in doing this, you’ll encourage huge, elephant-ear like leaves which look tres exotic! Grown as a full-sized tree, you’d also get to enjoy the foxglove-like, purple blooms, which give it the name Foxglove Tree.
Now, when it comes to conifers, don’t consign them to the compost bin just yet! Just look at the Korean Fir, an enchanting specimen which makes a manageable tree for a small space. Super hardy and a holder of the much-coveted Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit too!
Change your cherry tree choices too; ‘Amanagowa’ is a space-saving tree, with an upright, narrow shape, bearing sexy pink blossom every spring. Conversely, the Iford Cherry is a naturally weeping tree, which looks majestic in a container. Almost saved from extinction, the Iford Cherry was bright back to production from a single stem, taken from the terraces of Iford Manor!
So, now you’ve seen a few of the manageable trees available, maybe you aren’t so scared….?? For more top tips and advice to help you plant and grow your own trees, head to our trees and hedges hub page. And if you’re looking for more specific conifer advice, visit our conifer hub page – full of expert growers tips, caring advice and pruning guides.
Can you help at all when I grew up in the late 70’s early 80’s we had a tree in the garden that mum says was a yellow buddleia, but I am convinced it was something entirely different. Two questions, were yellow ones around, we definitely had a purple one back then, but that was in the back garden.
The second question is could you identify what try it may have been from this description, the shrub/tree used to have white flowers on it around July and August similar to a mimosa, it used to smell horrible when you crushed the petals, The clusters of petals would fold over and go into a hard orange shaped ball (which is why mum says it was a buddleia) and my brothers and I would pick them as they looked like tiny fruit and try to split the balls open. Not to eat them but to play with them.
I keep searching online for it but I can never find it, the closest I found was a mimosa but I remember the balls looking more like craspedia but they flowers not shrubs.
Any help would be gratefully received.
Sorry it has taken a while to get back to you. Our horticulturalists are little stumped!
I would say either Hippophae rhamnoides or Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’ for the fruits, but they do not have the right flower shape.
Cephalanthus would seem closer fro flower shape.
Buddleja globosa could also be a possibility, but its smells of honey, not nasty…
Some Acacias are white flowered, but they usually smell nice… The same can be said of some Albizias.
We do hope that helps!