If you have a bare urban garden, you might be itching to get some greenery into it pronto, to add colour and bring it to life. Helen Dillon, the world renowned gardener, provides some top-notch advice and tips.
- Paulownia tomentosa (height to 20m/65ft) is a Chinese tree that has white to violet flowers and in sunnier climates it blooms when young.
- A tree of amazingly rapid growth is the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima, 30m/100ft). In these temperate islands we admire the handsome, compound leaves with many leaflets and the shining red new growths.
- Eucalypts often have superb juvenile leaves in varying shades of duck-egg blue.
- The leaves of the cardoon (Cynara cardunculus, 1.5m/5ft), 90cm/3ft or more in length, are luminous, silvery white an fern-like, their tips elegantly curving down towards the earth. Cardoons make a great addition to any planting with their sensational mounds of foliage.
- It’s not too late to put in some dahlias, and it would be a nice opportunity to try out the tree dahlia, the 3m/10ft high (here in Ireland, much taller in the wild) D. imperialis.
- In early June there’s still plenty of time to put in some big tropical-looking stuff such as bananas. Wigwams of runner beans and climbing French beans will add instant height. Grapevines will be planted on the sunniest wall, with courgette plants rambling beneath. Any remaining spaces will be filled with cosmos in mixed colours, the big fragrant white tobacco plant Nicotiana sylvestris (1.5m/5ft) plus lots of nasturtium seeds are sown. By autumn there’ll be a feast of colour, scent and good things to eat.
For more hints, tips and advice on creating and maintaining a gorgeous garden, buy Helen Dillon’s Garden Book (Frances Lincoln Ltd).
Source: House & Home Magazine