Elegant Standard Trees

Standard trees make a bold statement in the garden but can be expensive to buy, but with a little patience and the right care you can create your own, as long as the plant has a strong lead shoot.

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Globes of Flowers and Foliage

Almost any plant can be grown as a standard, and if you have the time it is worth experimenting to see which work best. Roses are traditionally trained as standards, and are particularly effective grown in this formal way with less traditional mixed cottage-style planting beneath them. The same is true of wisterias. Other commonly grown standard lollipop trees include boxwood and bay, often used for topiary, and decorative evergreens, such as rosemary, Euonymus fortunei, and Photinia. You can also create interesting foliage and structural effects with large deciduous trees, such as acers and oaks, trimmed into standards, as long as you prune them regularly.

Planting Options:
Rosmarinus officinalis (image 1) has silvery growth and looks good rising above a planting of cool whites and purples.

Euonymus fortunei (image 2) provides brightly colored variegated foliage all year round, even in shady corners.

Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’ (image 3) is green all year but produces a flush of bronze-red new foliage every spring.

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Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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