Intimations of Autumn – Witch Hazel and Virginia Creeper

I'm afraid I don't know which cultivar of Hamamelis this is (a sale item, healthy enough but long since separated from any identifying label) but what gorgeous autumn colouring.... I'll have to wait a few months to see the distinctive thread-like and hopefully fragrant flowers, on bare winter branches, to determine who this is. In…

Sorbus glabrescens & Sorbus alnifolia – White and Red

Sorbus glabrescens with Sorbus alnifolia in the background Sorbus glabrescens, with white fruit (above) and (below) the red fruit of Sorbus alnifolia All change - Sorbus alnifolia with Sorbus glabrescens in the background Sorbus alnifolia by the Chokishi-Mon in the Japanese Landscape at Kew I've come across Sorbus glabrescens in the Arboretum at RHS Wisley…

Welcome to February with Parrotia persica Vanessa

Vanessa' is a selection of Persian ironwood that develops a more upright, columnar habit than the species. This durable tree is beautiful in every season, as its foliage, branch structure and bark are all exceptional. Its leaves are oval shaped with somewhat scalloped edges. They emerge green edged with burgundy, maturing to midgreen in summer.…

Malus transitoria – crab apple delights

Malus transitoria, the cut-leaved crab apple (photographed at RHS Wisley earlier this week) Crab apples are often excellent small trees for the garden, with late spring blossom to rival many of the Japanese Cherries, persistent fruit (attractive but only barely edible in the strictest sense). The blossom can be exceedingly fragrant and runs the gamut…

A Whiter Shade of….. Rowan (Sorbus glabrescens)

Sorbus glabrescens in the arboretum at RHS Wisley The arboretum at RHS Wisley in Surrey is a useful place to see many varieties of tree in a relatively small area - in particular it is possible to compare many different types of Silver Birch, or Rowan (Sorbus) or  Crab Apples (Malus) although the specimens planted…

Acers in my garden

Acer palmatum dissectum Acer palmatum Atropurpureum Acer griseum These three acers are all in pots, at the bottom of the garden and effectively screened from the house by a miniature forest of boisterous bamboos and all manner of more traditional ever-greenery. They form a backdrop to the thatched Breeze House (placed under the canopy of…

Strawberry Tree

Arbutus unedo - the Strawberry Tree A slow growing, evergreen tree that deserves to be more popular here in the UK - it is already widely planted in the Continent, even used in street planting and is attractive on so many fronts. Evergreen, of course, is always useful - a flowering tree ticks more boxes,…

Autumn blaze – Cotinus obovatus

Cotinus obovatus, at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, richly decked in Autumn colours A spectacular rare shrub or very small tree native to North America with great autumn colour, Cotinus obovatus has outstanding foliage, with very large (up to 10 cm), oval leaves. In the autumn these leaves turn stunning shades of red, orange and…

Carrier bags of doom….

Grape vine, leaf A rather beautiful vine leaf (I do not know the variety), burnished in autumn colours, came as a gift lifted out of a 'carrier bag of doom' presented to me earlier this week - the bag also contained a very mouldy, stunted bunch of home-grown grapes and a plea for a diagnosis…