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What trees are best for your new home 09 Dec 2015

:  A conversation sequence frequently held with customers goes along the lines of:  Mrs B: “After 22 years, my garden is so full of your trees/shrubs now that I don’t have room for anything else, so can I ask that you take me off your database – I’ve given my catalogue to my neighbour/friend/mother  etc.”  Now fast-forwarding through time, the next conversation might be 2, 3, 7 years later when there is a gleeful declaration that Mrs B has just moved to a new house with a fence and nothing else or to a house with a neglected garden and she is about to start all over again, so could she please have another catalogue?

The experienced gardeners know that it’s worth living with a new garden for at least 12 months before making any radical changes, so that it’s possible to note where hidden bulbs lie; where the summer/autumn/winter/spring sun falls; where water accumulates; which birds nest where; what their neighbours do at different times of year; what the traffic does; where the drains are; where the frost pockets are and where the winter wind blows.  This could become (and is) a very long list, but you get the idea.  The patient observer will learn a lot in that space of time and, all the while, little post-it notes will be sprouting from the edges of their new Weasdale catalogue as ideas start to build in each corner of the new garden.  Imagine what, for instance, that Prunus serrula ‘Tibetica’ will look like with the evening sun shining through its shaggy bark or how a nice golden shrub would be set off by that dark green Yew in the border?  Eventually, the order for trees and shrubs is complete and arrives on our desk but we know, from experience, that it won’t have been a rapid process but an evolutionary one, as evidenced by its acquired patina of distressed corners, crossings out and coffee stains!