Gardening expert Arit Anderson has shared her top choice of plant for any UK garden – the medlar tree (maspilus germanica). Appearing on the BBC at the Chelsea Flower Show, Anderson explained that the medlar tree is versatile, providing both beautiful flowers in the spring and striking burnt orange, amber-coloured fruit in the autumn. She recommended it as a focal point or as a screen against nosy neighbours. Anderson also praised the tree for being reasonably pest-free and requiring little pruning. She added that the Dicksonia antarctica, a tree fern, and the Davies azalea were also excellent choices for any UK garden.
The medlar tree is closely related to the apple tree and can be a “statement” tree or a “screen” against nosy neighbours. Anderson said that the tree’s versatility and beauty make it worth the investment. She explained that the medlar tree sprouts gorgeous flowers in the spring and fruit in the autumn, making it a tree that keeps giving across the seasons. Anderson emphasised that the tree is reasonably pest-free and requires little pruning, making it a low-maintenance option for any garden.
Anderson also recommended the Dicksonia antarctica, a tree fern that creates a wonderful statement in any garden. She advised investing in the size you really want as it is slow-growing. Anderson explained that the tree fern requires moist soil but well-drained and may need over-winter protection in some parts of the country as it can sometimes lose its leaves.
The third top-tier shrub on Anderson’s list is the Davies azalea, which is an eye-catching statement shrub with a lovely creamy yellow flower. Anderson praised the plant for acting as a fabulous understory shrub that sits between the canopy layer and the perennial layer. She explained that the shrub gets to about 1.5 metres in height and is hardy, enjoying the sun or partial shade. However, it does require ericaceous soil, which can be achieved by putting it in a container if it is not available in the border. Anderson added that the fact that the shrub is scented adds value to the garden.
In conclusion, Anderson’s recommendations provide a range of options for any UK garden. The medlar tree, Dicksonia antarctica, and Davies azalea are all versatile, beautiful, and low-maintenance options that can add value to any garden. Anderson’s advice is worth considering for anyone looking to invest in their garden.