People sometimes assume that having a small garden means sticking to shrubs and perennials rather than trees. In fact, there are many trees suitable for small gardens. Here are some of my favourites:
A small tree or large multi-stem shrub which can tolerate quite difficult sites. When the leaves appear in Spring they are a beautiful coppery colour. Stunning star-shaped white flowers appear around the same time. In early summer the tree produces berries, loved by birds! This gives the tree its common name – Juneberry. The foliage turns copper again in Autumn giving this tree a really long season of interest.
Malus ‘Red Sentinel’
Pink buds produce really fragrant white flowers in late Spring. Towards the end of the summer edible crab apple fruits appear. These are bright red in colour and their size makes them look more like cherries. The fruits often remain on the tree into Winter, after the leaves have fallen, and look rather like Christmas decorations!
Who doesn’t love the blossom of a flowering cherry in Spring?! And there are so many varieties to choose from. ‘Amanogawa’ is a column-shaped upright tree, making it particularly good in a garden where space is at a premium. The semi-double pink flowers look quite striking in Spring. Orange-red foliage provides Autumn interest.
This is a slow-growing medium-sized member of the Acer family. It’s commonly known as the Paper Bark maple due to its cinnamon-coloured peeling bark. This decorative feature provides year-round interest. The tree has delicately lobed leaves and in Autumn the foliage turns to shades of bright red or orange. This tree is often available as a multi-stem variety.
Cercis chinensis ‘Avondale’
‘Avondale’ provides early Spring interest with an abundance of deep pink pea-like flowers on bare branches around March. These are followed by large heart-shaped leaves which fade to buttery yellow in Autumn.
I believe that in a small garden every plant should work hard for its place and provide a long season of interest. Whilst all of these trees are deciduous, I think that Spring blossom, Summer fruits and stunning Autumn foliage mean they are all deserving of a place in any small garden.