top of page

Trees and Shrubs

Both trees and shrubs form the large, permanent planting within a garden. They give structure, seasonal interest and a sense of time through maturity. They also play a fundamental role in creating the ambience in a garden, whether used as an individual focal point or planted on mass to make a screen.  Ben considers all of the trees and shrubs listed below to be highly worthy of any garden.

Acer griseum


A beautiful small tree with peeling cinnamon bark that looks great all year round, providing a stunning focal point in any garden. It has a light, open and broad canopy, that when mature will cast soft dappled shade.  The leaves are small in size and mid green, accompanied by umbel-like, lime green flowers in Spring.  In Autumn the leaves become a blaze of fiery red and orange that compliments the ornamental bark.


It is slow growing reaching about 3-4 meters in ten years, making it suitable for a small garden despite its maximum height. It is fully hardy and prefers a slightly acidic sandy loam, although will tolerate alkaline conditions.  It can take full sun or light shade, but would be better suited to a site sheltered from drying wind.


Maximum Height and Spread: 10m x 6m (slow growing)


Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy'


A large shrub or small multi-stemmed tree, adorned with luxuriant heart-shaped leaves of a deep, rich purple all Summer long. In Autumn they change to various hues of bright orange and red, commanding attention from all.  In Spring the bare, wiry stems hold small, cerise pink, pea-like flowers. A great plant that can stand alone or work with others, complimenting and contrasting with its bold appearance.


Initially slow in growth but will gain momentum as it becomes established. It prefers a humus rich soil that is free draining, especially in Winter. Requires full sun to obtain the best foliage colour and dislkies root disturbance.


Maximum Height and Spread: 5m x 5m 

Daphne bholua 'Jacqueline Postill'


A choice, medium sized, woodland shrub that is grown for its beautifully scented, late winter and early spring flowers. Flushed with pink, they are bore in terminal clusters that gradually open releasing a sweet and intoxicating fragrance that will fill the surrounding space.  The tidy mid-green leaves remain throughout the year and sit neatly on the young dark bronze stems. Being well behaved in its growth habit, this Daphne will sit perfectly in both a formal or relaxed setting, near the house or path where its scent can be appreciated with ease.


For best results grow on a moist but free draining, loamy soil in a site that is sheltered from cold winds.  Happy in full sun to light shade and will benefit greatly from an annual mulch of leaf mould. 


Maximum Height and Spread: 2.5m x 1.5m 

Garrya elliptica


Native to coastal woodland in western USA and Central America, Garrya elliptica is an evergreen shrub most noted for its winter flowers. In autumn terminal buds give rise to tightly packed clusters of pale green catkins.  As winter develops so do the catkins, becoming larger in size and more silver in colour. By late winter the catkins are at their longest (up to 20cm long), dripping elegantly from the plant. The dark green leaves, with undulating edges and silky undersides provide the perfect backdrop to contrast and show the flowers off at their best.


Although frost hardy they will appreciate some shelter from the coldest winter weather to avoid leaf damage. Ideally situated in a woodland garden amongst larger specimens or against a wall for added support and protection. When selecting a new plant it is worth remembering that Garrya is dioecious and it is the male plants that have the largest catkins.


Maximum Height and Spread: 3m x 3m 

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Aphrodite'


A stunning hybrid cultivar of the quintessential winter flowering shrub commonly known as Witch Hazel. From early January delicate burnt orange flowers with thin, crumpled paper-like petals burst out of tightly clustered buds along naked stems. Despite their fragile appearance the flowers remain untouched by the frost and fill the air with sweet fragrance on sunny days. The broad shaped leaves that are reminiscent of Hazel have a soft green appearance that become full of autumnal tones before falling at the end of the growing season.


Being an x intermedia type, Aphrodite has an upright, vase-like habit with a moderate growth rate that requires little, if no pruning. Grow in either full sun or light shade, in a sheltered spot that doesn't dry out in summer or become waterlogged in winter.


Maximum Height and Spread: 3m x 3m 

Ribes sanguineum 'White Icicle'


A reliable and upright deciduous shrub of medium stature with an informal appearance. In spring, as buds begin to burst, pendant racemes form and hang from its branches, holding clusters of pure white flowers that persist over a long period of time. The flowers complement the fresh green growth of the new leaves and are an uplifting sight on a sunny spring day. Insignificant bluish black fruit develop as the season continues and the decorative palmate leaves provide a textural backdrop for other showy summer flowers.


Growing happily in a range of soils, ‘White Icicle’ likes to have cool roots, be they in moisture retentive soil if in full sun, or slightly drier conditions in light shade. Being relaxed in growth habit, this shrub is an excellent addition for naturalistic or woodland plantings, giving a showy performance in the spring. 


Maximum Height and Spread: 2m x 1.5m 

bottom of page