Ornamental plants

I see to my horror, that many of you have you been planting ornamental trees and shrubs in your front yards, even the Japanese Acer, which really is the Fred West of plants. Ornamental trees may look pretty but they’re useless. They don’t do anything for local insect or bird populations and frankly look like they belong on the set of Love Island. Please plant crab apples and pear trees which are native to here and it’s why we have street names like Perry Vale etc

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There’s nothing wrong with beauty, but I do agree about fruit trees. The part of upper Kirkdale I live in used to have lovely old orchards and some people are lucky enough to have some big old fruit trees in their gardens. It breaks my heart when I see these grubbed up. They might be really rare varieties, but even if not they’re all lovely in their own ways and host an amazing range of wildlife.

I only have a small space. If I had a huge garden I’d have a big pond and plant a pseudocamellia stewartia to shed its flowers upon it. They always seem to land upright and I think they would float on the water.

The RHS describe it as a small tree. It isn’t!


The important thing is the right tree for the right place, so that it can reach maturity. Even if not in our lifetimes.

I had to settle for a rose in my garden that I have encouraged to reached small tree shape and proportions. It’s a Kazanlik. Papery pink flowers just once a year - which the RHS rudely describe as “insignificant”. I disagree. They have a glorious scent, and are followed by hips.

Used for attar of roses, there’s even a festival to celebrate it (though probably not this year).


Thank you Mary!