Trees and Shrubs

The average householder has, of course, a limited amount of time to spend gardening, perhaps only occasional evenings and by no means all of his free time during the weekends. For this reason the necessity to weed large areas during the summer months should where possible be avoided, and a most satisfactory way of overcoming this would be to plant selected areas with shrubs and trees. These give a great deal of pleasure as in lots of cases they are in bloom during the duller months. There are few nicer sights than, for instance, a Winter Jasmine covered with clusters of little yellow flowers during the later part of November and continuing over Christmas. This particular shrub is most suited to planting near a wall or fence on which it can be secured.

Many varieties of Rhododendrons can be planted provided the soil is lime-free and this type, which also includes Azaleas, can give a most spectacular show during April and May. Camellia Japonica is unfortunately another shrub which dislikes lime but, provided a check is made of the soil before buying, it would be well worth including. During the dull windy days of March the Magnolia Stellata breaks into flower with its beautifully delicate white ribbon-like petals. There many varieties of Magnolia to choose from but the Stellata tends to bloom from a very early age.

Some care should be taken when planting shrubs and trees as, unlike border plants, they remain in their position for many years without being disturbed and the soil should be well dug over and some well-rotted compost or if available farmyard manure mixed into the top-soil.

The method of planting should always be the same. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots spread out, this will give them a chance to establish themselves more quickly. Any staking that is necessary should be attended to at the time of planting as one could easily damage the root system by driving canes or heavier stakes into the ground near to the tree or shrub after planting has been finished. It would therefore be wisest to decide whether a bamboo cane will be sufficient for support or a heavier stake in the case of trees or larger shrubs. Drive this securely into the centre of the hole. If a tree is being planted the top of the stake should extend to just below the point where the branches begin to radiate from the main stem. This will obviate any damage from the stake rubbing against the young branches. The tree or shrub can now be lowered into the hole and the roots arranged around the supporting stake. The soil should be replaced little by little making sure that the soil fills up all the space around the roots by gently shaking the main stem. When all the soil has been replaced it should be firmed surely but carefully with the heel. Tall trees will need to be tied to the support in at least two places to guard against the strong winds that are so evident in varied climates.

Any chafing from the ties should be avoided at all cost and a simple way of taking care of this is to wrap a two or three inch strip of sacking round the stem before the string is wound round. From time to time the ties should be checked to make sure that they are not too tight and thus restricting the growth of the stem. The odd little bird looking for suitable material for nest building may also take a fancy to the sacking and this should also be watched for.

Types of trees and shrubs can be divided into many categories, the main one of which is Evergreen or Deciduous. The former keep their leaves during the winter months and the latter lose them. Deciduous varieties should be planted between October and March and evergreen types in either October or March.

The following list, it is hoped, will help you to make a selection of the most suitable varieties, depending of course on the space available and whether they are required for screening, wall growing, for their perfume or for their particular time of blooming.

Acer Palmatum (Japanese Maple)

These delightful small feathery leaved maples make a fine display either in a shrub border, planted alone or in groups on a lawn. They usually grow from 3-5 ft. in height and can be found with yellow, red or green foliage.

Azalea

Although, as mentioned, these are not lovers of soil containing lime, in any other soil they will flower well during May and June. The Mollis hybrids grow from 3-4 ft. and the Ghent hybrids 4-5 ft. Both produce large trusses of flowers in many shades such as orange, red, yellow and pink.

Berberis Darwinii

An attractive evergreen shrub with dark glossy holly-like leaves and bearing clusters of tiny orange flowers in April and May followed by rich purple berries. Height 5-7 ft.

Buddleia Davidii

This very popular shrub, and with good reason, is very free growing and in July and August bears long spikes of lilac, white or red flowers. These bushes should be pruned hard in the spring. They make very vigorous growth and grow from 5-8 ft. During a summer’s day when the shrub is in bloom it is interesting to see how butterflies are attracted to the flowers.

Camellia

Many people have the opinion that Camellias are difficult to grow, maybe because of their exotic nature. This is not true although again they dislike lime and prefer to be kept out of reach of the early morning sun. Well worth planting they flower in lovely shades of red and pink and flower from April.

Ceanothus

The evergreen varieties of this shrub (Burkwoodii, rigidus, Veitchianus etc.) are best grown as climbers against a wall, flowering in various shades of blue during the summer. These should be pruned directly following flowering.

Cotoneaster

Rich shiny evergreen leaves and large quantities of brilliant berries in the autumn. This shrub is most suitable for covering banks or walls.

Cupressus

These elegant trees with their evergreen foliage in green, blue-grey or golden colours grow in a variety of shapes and sizes from the dwarf varieties suitable for the small rockery to huge trees only possible in the largest of gardens. Many nurserymen specialise in these and offer a wide selection of varieties.

Cydonia (Japanese Quince)

A beautiful shrub for wall growing, being covered in early spring in a dazzling array of scarlet flowers. These finally give way to large greenish yellow fruit.

Cytisus (Broom)

The stems of this shrub resemble in some ways miniature sweet peas and during May and June flower in various shades of yellows and reds. These bushes prefer bright sun and grow up to 6 ft.

Erica (Heath)

These often look their best massed in a bed of their own where various types and colour can be assorted but look well on a rockery or indeed in the front of a shrub border. Mostly grow up to within a foot high. Flowering takes place from January to April if the Carnea variety is planted.

Escallonia

Glossy evergreen foliage and pretty pink flowers, this shrub will grow to 5-6 ft. Plant in a sunny position and the flowering period is during June and July.

Forsythia

Seen in many gardens and notable for its brilliant yellow flowers which are at their best during March and April. The leaves appear after the flowers. This shrub does much to brighten the garden during very early spring. Height 6-9 ft.

Fuchsia

Hundreds of varieties of Fuchsia are listed, some of which are most suitable for hanging baskets or for greenhouse culture but many are quite hardy and suitable for the shrub border. Their hanging, dainty flowers in reds, whites, pinks and mauves break into bloom during July and flower continuously through to the end of September. In exposed areas it would be advisable to protect them with a layer of ashes during the bad weather period.

Hibiscus

A late summer flowering deciduous shrub bearing hollyhock-like flowers in many varied colours. The height varies between 4-8 ft. and should be grown in a sunny position.

Hydrangea

The most common variety (hortensis) grow from 4-5 ft. high and the flowers depend for their colour on the soil in which they are planted. They vary between pale pink to blue, and many gardeners feel the latter colour to be more attractive. Blue flowers depend on an acid content to the soil together with some aluminium being present. However, it is a simple matter to artificially reproduce these conditions with a sprinkling of aluminium sulphate which can be bought at a good chemist, and applied at a rate of 1 lb per medium sized bush during the late autumn or winter.

Hypericum calycinum

The popular name for this useful evergreen shrub is Rose of Sharon and its delightful yellow flowers are in bloom from July to September. It’s natural habit of spreading makes it ideal for covering banks and because it will grow equally well in shade it is very useful for growing under trees where other shrubs would not be satisfactory.

Ilex (Holly)

Both the well known Common Holly (Aquifolium) and the Gold and Silver Variegated types grow well as bushes or trained into hedges.

Jasminum nudiflorum (Winter Jasmine)

This really delightful shrub, although best suited to wall training can also be successfully grown in a shrub border provided a suitable stout stake is used as a central support.

Laburnum

This pleasant tree bearing long hanging stems of golden yellow blossom in May makes a delightful show whether planted alone or as part of a shrubbery.

Lavandula (Lavender)

The very pleasing perfume of Lavender and the grey-green foliage makes this a splendid shrub. Flowering from July this evergreen grows to only approximately 2 ft. and should therefore be planted at the front of the border.

Malus (Flowering Crab Apples)

Purplish green leaves with brilliant crimson flowers during April and May make this a very colourful tree. The flowers are followed in the autumn by cherry sized fruit.

Philadelphus (Mock Orange)

In even poor soil this shrub will reward the grower with a wonderful array of white blossom with incredibly strong perfume. The flowers appear in July and the bushes grow from 6-8 ft. high.

Potentilla

Planted in a sunny position this small shrub flowers with buttercup like blooms throughout the season. It should be planted towards the front of the shrubbery as the height is usually about 3-4 ft.

Prunus Cerasus (Flowering Cherry)

The young foliage of this tree is a beautiful coppery red and towards the end of April the tree bursts into a mass of delicate pink blossom.

Ribes (Flowering Currant)

This shrub flowers from April with red flowers and grows to a height of 8 ft.

Syringa (Lilac)

Many colours are obtainable from white to deep reddish purple and the fragrance of this shrub is superb.

Weigela

Bushy shrub with pink or crimson blooms. These grow from 6-8 ft. high and flower during May and June.

As a general rule pruning winter flowering shrubs takes place after flowering has ended, but the summer and autumn flowering types should be left until winter when the berries have fallen off.

24. August 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Trees and Shrubs

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