Decorative trees and shrubs: how to choose them?

Decorative trees and shrubs: how to choose them?

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Round, cut or slender leaves, light or dark green, silver or orange, with drooping or haughty habit ... Trees and shrubs represent a very decorative universe, without forgetting their flowering which sublimates them in summer. They are the basis, the structure of a garden, choose them well and value them!

Japanese maple, bamboo and eucalyptus: the star trees of aesthetic gardens

Japanese maple tops the best of decorative foliage trees. "There are dozens of varieties suitable for all gardens, explains landscape gardener Serge Bollard. We can even say that there is almost a maple for each garden! Thus, everyone can choose their own according to their preferences and its needs in terms of height, size, color variations in the fall, foliage ... "The subject acer palmatum dissectum has particularly cut leaves that change from tender green to dark green and then to golden yellow, thread of the seasons. The maple 'Autumn Blaze' is adorned with magnificent red colors in the fall. He is also a favorite of the landscape designer Pierre-Alexandre Risser, who advises planting up to 10 different varieties in large pots to create an impression of forest!
The same is true for bamboo, which can display dense or more sparse foliage, in shades of tender green, dark green or yellow-orange. Always very graphic and light. Its strength: its haughty attitude (very haughty!) Since it can reach up to 2 meters in height. One of its breathtaking new cultivars is the nandina shrub (sacred bamboo) 'Gulf stream', whose foliage goes through all the orange-red colors in the fall, with a Japanese appearance. Finally, our third favorite is eucalyptus: it is the most trendy tree in 2015/2016, in decoration anyway. To be able to fully enjoy it, we would have to see more in our gardens! There are several species, with more or less elongated leaves. The one that is most used in decoration and creative leisure is eucalyptus gunnii, whose foliage with round shapes is bluish and delivers a delicious smell, while keeping mosquitoes away!

6 essential trees to liven up the garden with color

The dogwood is a tree which is very aesthetic thanks to its foliage and its colored wood - brown or bright red. Renowned for its allure, its delicate foliage on spread out branches and its very graphic overall shape, it stands out in the garden by its umbrella-like shape. Its white, pink or yellow flowers are also magnificent. Pieris japonica (or Andromeda from Japan), which changes its appearance in autumn and spring, is also essential. While its evergreen foliage is variegated, in spring it takes on a completely different appearance with young bright pink or bright red leaves: its growth is a real spectacle!
The baby beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Atropurpurea'), for its part, sports this shade from dark green to red then to reddish-brown year-round, perfect for a hedge. As for the cherry tree 'Prunus Amanogawa', it goes from green to bronze and red before adorning itself abundantly with pink flowers in the form of pompoms in spring… Magnificent in all seasons. The charcoal 'Euonymus alatus compactus' has deciduous foliage and takes on amazing, radiant colors, once summer is over ... it is one of the most beautiful foliage in autumn. Finally, the shrimp willow, on stem or hedge: its young, growing foliage has a delicate pink and white hue, which almost gives the impression that it is blooming!

Flowering trees and shrubs: second aesthetic effect!

Flowering brings this little extra happiness to the contemplation of these subjects so important in a garden. We can again quote here the dogwood and the cherry tree, which we have already mentioned above and which also belong to the category of flowering trees. Add the Mexican orange tree (Choisya ternata), which is the most common alternative to maple. "I often choose the 'White Dazzler'®, continues Serge Bollard, because it is a small shrub with decorative foliage that changes from Japanese maple. Its foliage is magnificent and its scent of orange peel (to the touch ) is also irresistible. "
Finally, the hydrangea, so known for its extraordinary flowers, can also be highlighted for its foliage: light or dark green, shiny or more dull, sometimes even mauve, 'tanned' or 'wine-colored' end of summer ; sometimes also mottled with white or gray, or variegated with yellow, with purple variants, in the shape of oak leaves ... The hydrangeas macrophylla 'Lemon Wave' and 'Tricolor' are for example more famous for their luminous foliage than for their flowers , almost insignificant.

Trees similar to sculptures… 5 works of art for the garden

The Malus Red Jade is an ornamental weeping type apple, drooping: small in size, it is nonetheless remarkable, it looks like a sculpture! Brilliant green foliage, white and pink flowers, red fruits ... It is a permanent enchantment. In the same style, the olive tree, which has known a fashion effect for a few years, is very graphic if it is well pruned. For its well-being, favor it in the gardens of the south of France, even if it is 'trendy' everywhere.
The Chinese palm - Trachycarpus fortunei, is very graphic with its pointed fan-shaped leaves, dark green in color. The most frost-resistant palm, it grows very quickly and adapts to all gardens: guaranteed 'island beaches' effect! The aralia - Fatsia japonica, also gives an exotic touch to the garden: favorite for its (very) large cut leaves and a shiny green, its wide, very distinguished habit. It likes indoors, in bright gardens and patios sheltered from drafts ... Finally, how can we not talk about topiaries, these boxwoods, yew trees and other cedars whose very dense foliage lends itself perfectly to pruning? Geometric or animal shapes, they allow you to create real works of art in the garden, individual or in carved hedges. Visit for example the gardens of La Ballue to get inspired!

And of course the fruit trees

Like the Malus Red Jade that we mentioned above, many fruit trees can be decorative, if you give them a trellised or columnar shape for example ... Let us quote here the black elderberry (sambucus nigra) Black Tower® whose very foliage dark and pink bloom create an extraordinary contrast. The fig tree is particularly aesthetic thanks to its serrated and round foliage and its white trunk in winter; there is also a variegated foliage fig.
And as an ornament, the almond tree - Prunus dulcis, offers spectacular white flowering. Its trunk and branches can sometimes take on a spectacular appearance. To compose your garden with a selection of these trees and shrubs, combine them by studying the heights, the colors of the foliage and flowers, as well as the time of flowering ... The result must be harmonious with complementary subjects. And you, would you like a garden populated by these superb trees & shrubs? Find out more: // // //