Trees bring structure and maturity to a garden. They can be smothered in spectacular blossoms through the spring, boast brightly-coloured foliage in autumn, or deliver all-year-round evergreen interest. You don’t need a huge amount of outdoor space either – some trees are perfectly happy in a large patio container. Here are some of our favorite articles, videos and Instagram posts to help you choose the right tree for your outdoor space.
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There are three main options when it comes to buying a tree – bare root, root ball and container-grown varieties, explains Lee at Garden Ninja. Container-grown trees give you fairly instant results by allowing you to get your hands on larger, more mature specimens, he says. Watch Lee’s excellent video for the pros and cons of each, before making your final decision.
Sue Sanderson–Thompson & Morgan
Buying your tree as a bare root sapling is the cheapest way to add structure to your garden, says expert Sue Sanderson at Thompson&Morgan. Available between November and March, bare root whips establish quickly over the winter months, coming into leaf in the spring following planting. Read Sue’s full article to find out how to plant your bare root tree.
Cercis canadensis ‘Eternal Flame’ has unparalleled leaf colour, says Jenny at her YouTube channel Murphy’s Garden. With purple spring blossom and a hardy habit, it’s a fantastic candidate for planting into a large patio pot. Use free-draining compost and choose a sunny position to enjoy this award-winning tree. See Jenny’s ten favorite deciduous trees in her friendly video of her.
Marie – Plews Garden Design
“Ornamental deciduous trees for small gardens should provide interest and color at more than one season of the year,” says Marie at Plews Garden Design. Marie recommends Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ in her top five for its “catkins in spring, nuts in autumn and a twirling sculpture of stems in the winter.” Read her article about how to choose an ornamental deciduous tree if you’re looking for a hard-working variety to enhance a small space.
Alan – Down to Earth
“In spring, the Amelanchier is covered in a snowstorm of tiny, slightly-pink-tinted, white, single flowers,” says Alan over at down to earth. Not only does this tree have stunning blossoms, Amelanchier canadensis is fantastic for wildlife too, providing spring nectar, autumn berries and winter nesting space for birds. Read Alan’s full article for an inspiring list of wildlife-friendly trees.
Laura, Elaine and Caroline – The 3 Growbags
“It’s actually a rare and precious thing to come across a tree that saves its flower power until high summer,” says Laura at The 3 Growbags. The magnificent magnolia grandiflora does just that. “It throws out its palatial lemon-scented flowers in two and three in tantalizing bursts all through the summer months.,” she says. Read this fun, info-packed article to discover the other summer-flowering trees recommended by the knowledgeable gardening ‘growbags’.
Alexandra – The Middlesized Garden
Acers are fantastic autumn trees, says Alexandra at The Middle-sized Garden. They thrive in neutral to acidic soil, so she recommends checking your pH before planting into the ground. Don’t worry if it isn’t quite right – they do very well in a patio container filled with ericaceous compost too. Read Alexandra’s highly informative interview with Stephen Herrington, formerly of Leonardslee Lakes & Gardens for expert advice on autumn trees.
Dawn – @dawns_gardening
Choose crab apple ‘Evereste’ or ‘Red Sentinel’ for the biggest fruits, says Dawn over at her popular Insta account, @dawns_gardening. Afterall, “the size of fruits…is what these ornamental crab apples are all about,” she explains. See Dawn’s comparative pics to see different crab apple fruits side by side.
Carol – The Sunday Gardener
Looking for an evergreen tree to brighten your winter garden? Grow holly, says Carol at top gardening blog The Sunday Gardener. The festive red berries brighten up a dark corner and are a favorite snack for native birds. Make sure you plant both a male and a female tree to get plenty of berries, she says. Give Carol’s article a read for top tips on how to grow these hardy and versatile trees.
Winter-flowering trees like viburnum are a great way to add interest through the coldest part of the year. The popular gardeners over at @paddockwoodgarden say: “I wish I could bottle the fragrance of this viburnum tree – it’s stunning and it’s giving us a sudden burst of much appreciated blossom in the winter garden.” We love the way that these guys plant trees to celebrate special occasions – give them a follow to see which varieties they choose.
Looking to plant a new tree or a hedge? Head over to our trees and hedges hub page for planting advice. Share images of your trees with us using the hashtag #YourTMGarden. We always love to hear from you.
Since the first seed catalog was published in 1855, Thompson & Morgan has grown to become one of the UK’s largest Mail Order Seed and Plant companies. Through the publication of our catalogs and the operation of our award-winning website, Thompson & Morgan is able to provide home gardeners with the very best quality products money can buy.
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