Garden designs should take into account seasonal changes that occur in the garden and maximise the differences between Summer and Winter environments. Autumn colour is glorious as trees and climbers turn from green to warmer hues of yellow, orange and fiery red. And it’s a great time now to think about planting deciduous trees as new stocks are coming into the nurseries.
Trees are the first essential selection for a good planting scheme. Trees add wonderful height and dimension to your garden design. They can define garden areas and provide natural structure to your design. Trees are especially important to keep us cool in Summer and, if you select deciduous varieties, the sunshine will stream in to warm everything up during the Winter months.
Some people avoid trees, afraid of their size, their invasive roots and their falling leaves. Big mistake. There are plenty of beautiful small to medium trees that are perfect for any garden. And, without trees, there is no sense of garden.
So, choose as many trees as you can to suit the style and space available. A big tree with a broad canopy will shade a large open space. Medium trees will screen the neighbour’s property or frame a view of the sky. A number of small trees will give the illusion of a much larger garden.
Small trees espaliered along a fence can also look splendid, and will take up very little ground space. Trim and tie young branches along a narrow frame to create the desired shape. Use Olives, Citrus, small fruit trees or Camellias to create this beautiful effect.
Pleaching is another interesting way to get more height into a small space. It’s a bit like a tree hedge on legs. The canopy on a row of trees is clipped so that they join and make a hedge above the trunks. It is a lovely way to define a boundary, yet still allow for underplanting.
Designing with trees for seasonal differences makes practical as well as aesthetic sense, so embrace the seasons, and add some deciduous trees to your garden.