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Front garden - Trees

My front garden is very plain at the moment with just having a drive way of stones and no plants. I want to plant 2 trees either side where you would drive the car in. On one side I was thinking a magnolia but I'm not sure what to use on the other side. Any suggestions. Id like something that's not too big and not invasive roots for when we get it redone with paving and tarmacadam


  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,710
    Crab apples are pretty with flowers in spring and fruit in autumn, not too big. Amalanchiers aren't that big either and have pretty white flowers in spring and autumn colour.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • Busy-LizzieBusy-Lizzie Posts: 21,710
    If you are paving and tarmaccing make sure it's porous, for water drainage and watering of said trees. I think there may even be laws now for front garden surfaces.
    Dordogne and Norfolk. Clay in Dordogne, sandy in Norfolk.
  • I have a double flowered hawthorn, a golden hornet crab apple and a Stella cherry in my front garden.
    I would recommend the crab apple for size and longevity of interest (spring flowers, fruit and autumn colour)
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,179
    You need to get small trees that will grow up and not out as you may find it hard to get in and out of the car. Also think about whether you have time to sweep up all leaves in the autumn. You could get two standard variegated holly trees that are evergreen with berries for the birds.   
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • This is the front garden at the moment- it’s basically just a driveway with stones. So unappealing. We have just moved in before Christmas though so none of this design was our doing. I thought some trees might give us some privacy and something nice to look at. I’m not even sure where to start with it. 
  • Hmm! Difficult.

    Space next to drive on right is extremely narrow.
    Most trees would overhang your neighbours garden.
    By law they can cut down ANY branches that overhang their land...provided they hand them back to you.
    Would ruin any half decent tree.
    Suggest you forget matching pair of trees and instead go for one fab tree.

    Do you own land to left of drive it seems to have a telegraph pole there?
    Trees and cables aren't good.
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,179
    Hello Marc, Firstly, is the palm tree yours or next doors and secondly how on earth do you manage to park in such a narrow space?  Is what looks like a rectangular concrete container by the side of the pavement to the left of the palm tree moveable or concreted in?  And lastly, if you bought new plants and put them in containers, would they be likely to "walk".
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Here’s another pic. We can get 2 cars on the drive either side: it’s less narrower than it looks I think the angle of the cctv camera made it look worse. Containers not likely to walk we live in a a nice area of Solihull. That isn’t to say they may end up at the car boot if someone fancy’s lifting them. The palm trees are next doors. I’m thinking I might be best with some bushes that grow quite tall/ the container is a awful brick built flower bed that I want to remove. I’m not sure if you put a fence in or a normal sized wall/ it’s so boring out the front I’m just at a loss with what i can do with it. 
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 8,847
    Aha! The angle of the first pic made it look much narrower.
    Anything bulky and higher than the car windows near the road/palm tree could impede visibility when you're reversing out (particularly if it's on both sides).
    It looks like there are already some very small trees/shrubs, one each side of the drive near the road., but they are bare at the moment. Are they alive, and do you want to keep them? If so, some closeup pics when they come into leaf/flower would help us to have a go at identifying them. 
    Before spending any money on big plants you'd need to check whether there's reasonable soil under the gravel. If the drive was made properly the should be loads of hardcore underneath which wouldn't be good to plant in.  Maybe think about some big containers nearer the house.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
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