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TREET YOURSELF; Give your garden a great focal point.

LABURNUM ARCH

MANY trees can be trained into hedges or along trellises or pergolas and one of the most fashionable is a Laburnum arch. To achieve the effect a row of single-stem plants is grown up an arch frame and their tops intertwined. Choose the variety Vossii, which produces flowers in cascading golden chains.

Expert tip Ornamental onions like the giant Allium Purple Sensation are good companions for laburnums as they peak together and take up very little space.

pounds How much pounds 50 (www.floraselect.co.uk, 01245 422353).

JAPANESE CRABAPPLE

JAPANESE crabapple is a great all-rounder for the small garden, producing fragrant blooms that begin as beautiful deep pink to red buds, eventually fading to a glistening white as they open. From August to October, the yellow and red fruits appear.

Expert tip Make the most of its squat height - 15 to 20ft - and spreading habit by making it the focal feature in a lawn. Underplant with the spring-flowering tulip White Dream.

pounds How much From pounds 44.95 (www.trees-online.co.uk, 0800 043 1057).

JAPANESE MAPLE

MAKE a shady border glow on summer days by planting the Full Moon Japanese maple, Acer shirasawanum Aureum. Its striking golden leaves also turn orange and red in autumn, making it the star of the garden, whatever the season.

Expert tip This slow-growing tree will eventually reach 15-20ft and can be grown in a pot in its early years provided it is given shade and protection from sun and drying winds - otherwise its foliage will curl up and turn brown on the edges.

pounds How much pounds 18.50 (www.burncoose.co.uk, 01209 860316).

GOLDEN RAIN TREE

THE golden rain tree Koelreuteria is also known as September Gold as the flowers, which appear in late summer, cover the tree then are followed by another amazing transformation as the dull green leaves turn orange-yellow before they drop off in autumn.

Expert tip With a height of around 20ft and a spread of around 15ft, it's a good choice for a suburban garden as it tolerates drought, heat, wind and air pollution.

pounds How much pounds 48.89 (www.trees-online.co.uk, 0800 043 1057).

SUNBURST HONEY LOCUST TREE

THE sunburst honey locust tree Gleditsia is an excellent lawn tree and its light golden canopy doesn't cast heavy shade, making it a useful plant for a sunny border and even a container in a hot spot.

Expert tip The tree responds well to pinching, trimming and heavy pruning so it's easy to rejuvenate and shape to give it a formal or natural look. Watch out for thorns.

pounds How much pounds 29.95 (www.whispering-trees.co.uk, 01366 388752).

GOOD IDEA: FAIRY LIGHTS

BRING trees to life at night with coloured lanterns or strings of outdoor fairy lights. Use straight staples to fasten the lights to branches to avoid drooping or crooked strings of lights and use light nets to drape over shrubs.

Expert tip Keep in mind that you should always try to conserve energy when using garden lighting. Aside from saving you money, it will help with the environment. Low voltage mains powered or solar lights will also give your garden a soft, romantic ambience at night.

pounds How much Outdoor tree lights from pounds 12.98 from B&Q (www.diy.com).

CAPTION(S):

Japanese crabapple Full Moon Japanese map ple Golden Rain tree Laburnum arch Cascading golden flowers can be trained to stunning effect Sunburst Honey Locust tree BRIGHT IDEA: Fairy lights
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 29, 2009
Words:585
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