As GardenSIte's plant specialist I always keenly anticipate the HTA National Plant Show. This is my chance to visit nurseries, find out what's trending in the horticultural world and source new stock, all from under one roof.
The acer family has always been renowned for providing some of the great classical trees found in British Arboretums. Robert Hall discusses his suggestions for the best acers to invest in for your garden.
Go to Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire this week and make straight for the Acer Glade. The effect is dramatic. Seeing such an impressive collection of autumn colouring acers will indelibly stamp a picture in your memory that will remain forever.
Shades and tints of copper, orange, bronze and scarlet reflect a coal fire glow when lit by the autumn sun. Each and every leaf responds to nature's call and in unison they draw a canopy of complementary colours over their supporting branches.
The acer family has always been renowned for providing some of the great classical shrubs of the horticultural world like the low growing Discectum Atropurpureum or the soft yellow Japonicum Aureum.
Both are excellent acers for the garden particularly with their first flush of spring colour, but cannot hold a light to Heptalobum Osakazuki for flaming autumn colours.
Osakazuki matures from a mid-green in spring through to a deeper olive green by summer before exploding to fiery scarlet before the fall. It is undoubtedly the most brilliant of all late colouring acers. Though fairly slow growing it will eventually form a large bush or small tree with a low, rounded head.
Plant Osakazuki in association with camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas and other woodland shrubs in moist well drained soil. Alternatively grow it in isolation as a specimen feature plant but ensure it receives some protection from the cold east wind. For it is the one element that will eventually blow the Osakazuki fire out.
If you want to purchase an acer for your garden, I suggest you contact your local Independent Garden Centre for stock availability.
Create a Halloween party in your house or garden with ideas and suggestions from David Coton that will keep your children and neighbours thrilled and spooked on the 31st October.
Looking for some advice on how to decorate your garden for halloween? David Coton has some great ideas to help you create a horror themed garden to scare your neighbours and any trick & treaters who come to your door.
Used originally to frighten away evil spirits, now placed near the front door to deter trick or treaters, carved pumpkins have been part of Halloween for a very long time. Here Martyn Loach explains the process of creating the scariest pumpkin in your street.
To grow the biggest, scariest pumpkin in time for Halloween isn't easy as they take some time to mature and prefer a warm climate. To have the best chance of success Martyn Loach recommends sowing seed indoors during April and then planting out in late May or June.