Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)


Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)


Article excerpt

ACER IN THE HOME: The Acer griseum, left, the palmatum Bloodgood above, and the Japanese maple below THE acer is one of the splendours of autumn, with its dazzling leaf colour and elegant architectural form.

Every garden, no matter how large or small, should find space for trees -and there are few to top the acer for elegance, says garden designer Andrew McIndoe, of Hillier Nurseries. "Gardeners tend to concentrate on the little herbaceous beauties, but it is the trees that give the structure, height and year-round interest to a planting scheme," says Andrew who designed 20 of Hillier's 65 consecutive gold medal-winning gardens at Chelsea Flower Show.

The supreme elegance, magnificent colour and sheer volume of varieties make the acer a good choice of tree, whatever the size of your garden, he says.

They will grow happily on acid or alkaline soils, need sun for good foliage colour but should be kept clear of biting winds, which will burn their delicate foliage, or drought, which will cause their leaves to go brown at the tips.

Japanese maples, varieties of Acer palmatum, are ideal for smaller gardens.

"Strong growing varieties such as Acer palmatum Bloodgood, with purple-red foliage, are the best to choose where a red-leaved tree of around 3-4m is required," said Andrew.

Japanese maples are also excellent for growing in the gentle shade of larger trees provided the earth in which they are planted is not awash with the roots of the larger specimen.

While some acers provide colour in spring and summer, if you want them to become a focal point in autumn look no further than Acer palmatum Ozakazuki, which turns from green to vivid scarlet.

"Plant it where the leaves will be back-lit by the sun in morning or late afternoon for best effect," he says.

The coral bark maple, A. palmatum Sango-kaku, is renowned for its orange-red young stems which glow in winter light after the butter yellow autumn leaves have fallen. …

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