All around me there are trees! Not all are mine, I assure you; more than a few belong to neighbours who made good choices in recent years.
I look into the rear of a distant garden and admire the yellow-leaved form of the false acacia Robinia pseudoacacia Frisia.
This has been a popular choice in recent years, and of late it has shown a welcome liveliness of colour.
A much better choice I think, is the honey-locust or Gleditsia triancanthos ‘Sunburst’. The leaves are feathery and keep their golden tints to the very last.
Experts tell me that this tree is far too brittle for windy counties (it grows to around 15 feet) but if it is, it can be improved by hard pruning.
Should you bother? I think so, not least for that golden foliage from spring through to autumn and the freshness it casts about.
As well, it makes splendid dappled shade under which it is a pleasure to sit and day-dream.
Specimens can be planted this month and on through to late spring.
If purchasing Agapanthus this autumn (and I strongly recommend that you do) pay particular attention to named varieties.
This year I tried yet another, ‘Purple Cloud’ to be precise, and it performed wonderfully since late June.
These require a sunny warm spot but because they take kindly to pot culture it is no problem to site them where most heat and light is available.
Black-spot is the bane of many a rose grower. Despite resorting to chemical sprays, black-spot is extremely difficult to eradicate.
If you suffered the scourge this year you can be sure the disease will return next year but one measure you can take to reduce the likelihood is to collect all fallen leaves and to pick off any others still remaining during November.
This removes one source of re-infestation. As to ‘home cures’ I’m using Milton of late and find it a big help. Dilute as for sterilising baby’s bottles.