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Blossom's up; While fruit, foliage and stature add to a tree's charm, it is blossom, celebrating spring with a shower of confetti, that takes your breath away.

Byline: With Carol Klein of TV's Gardeners' World

ONE | the rst plants we ever purchased for the garden here at Glebe Cottage was an ornamental cherry. When we brought it home in the back of our ancient Land Rover we were very proud, even though it was no more than a slender trunk with a few short skinny branches at the top.

For almost 30 years it gave us a wonderful show of sumptuous white semi-double owers tinged with pink, dripping elegantly from its branches in spring. As its owers fell, the garden was strewn with white confetti. Each autumn its leaves turned to russet and gold.

'Sadly it died. According to Malcolm Pharaoh, head gardener at Marwood Hill in North Devon, the average life expectancy of a cherry is 25 years. He should know, there are many beautiful cherries at Marwood and hundreds of other trees and shrubs.

It is one of the best gardens in the country to take the measure of ornamental trees, but wherever you live there are good gardens to visit where you can assess the suitability of a tree for your plot. And, just as important, whether you feel an anity with it.

Your tree should be with you a long time (it may outlive you) and it's important you make the right match.

Few of us have acres of space and whichever tree we choose is liable to dominate the garden. Most trees will grow in a variety of di"erent situations, although if you have particularly extreme conditions - an exposed site with thin soil or boggy shade - it is worth consulting a good specialist book.

Hillier's Manual of Trees and Shrubs, with input from the great Roy Lancaster, is packed with information.

Choose a tree that will give you the maximum interest year round. Blossom, fruit, foliage, bark, shape and stature must all be considered.

ere area host of species from which to choose, including ornamental cherries, crab apples, rowans and amelanchiers. Crab apples are outstanding trees for both blossom and fruit" and the great majority o"er gorgeous autumn colour too.

Using the fruit with blackberries for jam or jelly is an extra attraction.

ere are dozens of cultivars to choose from. Malus 'John Downie' is one of the oldest but still arguably the best. It has long, glossy fruits of coral and red.

Amelanchier lamarckii is sometimes grown as a large shrub but can equally make a small tree. In spring its branches are thick with panicles of informal white blossom. In autumn its leaves turn to warm shades of red, pink and orange.

Although amelanchier prefers acid soil, it is a fairly accommodating plant. ere are new cultivars with improved owers and more compact habits available. 'La Paloma' is one | the best. No matter how small your garden, there is a cherry for you - one that will suit the space you have. If there is little room for a broad-topped tree, the answer may be to follow the planting fashion of the Sixties and try the columnar Prunus 'Amanogawa'. Its familiar upright branches are well-endowed with soft pink owers - perfect against a blue sky in late April or early May.

Not all blossom grows on trees. e rst time I saw Exochorda x macrantha 'e Bride', it was love at rst sight.

time A graceful shrub with wide, arching branches clothed in large white owers along their entire length. Its buds are round - another cultivar is aptly named 'e Pearl'.

e open owers are particularly pretty - chalice-shaped like small, single roses. In fact exochorda belongs to rosaceae, the rose family.

| the garden at Glebe Cottage we are lucky enough to have Magnolia x loebneri 'Leonard Messel'. is is a glorious tree - deep lilac pink in bud fading to paler pink as it opens.

x loebneri 'Leonard Messel'. is is a glorious tree - deep lilac pink in bud fading to paler pink as it opens.

Seen from the bedroom window its branches are hardly discernible, obscured by a spume of pink owers. It's a taller tree than Magnolia stellata but not as wide-spreading.

window its branches are hardly discernible, obscured by a spume of pink owers. It's a taller tree than Magnolia stellata but not as wide-spreading.

ough both Magnolia stellata and 'Leonard Messel' are at their best in full ower, they have additional charms.

and 'Leonard Messel' are at their best in full ower, they have additional charms.

Both have golden autumn colour, steely bark and intricate twiggy growth, making them a winter attraction. e ower buds that develop over summer are eminently strokeable - and within reach.

steely bark and intricate twiggy growth, making them a winter attraction. e ower buds that develop over summer are eminently strokeable - and within reach.

ask Carol QWE'D love to plant a hedge between us and the road. Are there any roses we could use instead of privet or conifers? Our soil is sandy.

DAVID WILLIAMS, a refreshing idea.

AWHAT If you use one or other | the varieties of Rosa rugosa it should be a huge success.

is Japanese rose will give you bright green foliage changing to gold in autumn as well as big, scented owers of magenta, pink or white - and hips too!

QMY neighbour gave me Japanese anemones that do well in her garden but I haven't managed to get them going here. Where am I going wrong? ? RUTH COLLINS, AALTHOUGH Japanese anemones can be rampant when they get going, they are often dicult to establish, especially from old, woody roots.

Try to beg a few slender roots from your neighbour, cut into 2-5cm lengths and lay on the top of a tray or pot of gritty compost.

Weigh down with extra grit, water and put in a bright place.

New leaves and a root system will develop into strong young plants.

Your tree should be with you a long time so it's important to have the right match

CAPTION(S):

Subtle: | Amelanchier lamarckii

Main: | Confetti-like: Ornamental cherry. Above: Apple trees provide great fruit and beautiful blossom

Bright: Rosa rugosa
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 4, 2015
Words:1010
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