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Lawn centrepiece ideas?

Sam80Sam80 Posts: 40
I’ve been thinking about putting a 1-2metre plant in a circular bed in the centre of my lawn as a kind of centrepiece. Low maintenance, year round interest. Originally thought a small tree like a forest pansy (until I spotted one recently that was much bigger than the 2 metres I thought they grow to). Then I thought something like cornus Midwinter Fire. It needs to be no more than 2metres high ideally, maybe 1.5metres wide. Slightly acid soil. Full Sun. Sheltered. Any suggestions or ideas welcome please?


  • BobFlannigonBobFlannigon Posts: 619
    It's tricky to recommend something without knowing what the rest of your garden looks like. Just some thoughts, however: Olive trees and Acers always look nice as a centre-piece, there are attractive hawthorns (e.g. Crataegus monogyna 'Crimson Cloud'), Paper Birch, Mahogany cherry (Prunus Serrula) or you could get your topiary on and sculpt some Yew!
  • Janie BJanie B Posts: 943
    How about a standard wisteria? (Not really year round interest, though...)
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 11,676
    If you plant anything deciduous, you will be looking at bare twigs for 4-5 months so if that is a consideration, it will have to be an evergreen of some sort. Have you thought of a sculpture, statue, birdbath or sundial instead - all traditional ideas I know but very low maintenance.  Cornus 'Midwinter Fire' can be a bit of a straggly monster so unsuitable I think for a focal point. The evergreeen grass 'Stipa Gigantica' would suit a sunny and sheltered spot.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • Sam80Sam80 Posts: 40
    Thanks very much, great ideas!
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 Posts: 5,150
    I like Lizzie's idea of a birdbath, the visitors would give you a different view every day. Seasonal planting around the base could give you a longer succession of colour and interest over the months than a single plant.

    Spring bulbs, followed by summer perennials then plants with good autumn foliage and something evergreen for winter for example.
    Just be sure to choose plants suited to the aspect and soil type you have.
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,957
    Having spent most of the afternoon watching the birds coming and going, l would also go for a bird bath. As long as you have shrubs nearby where the birds can go for cover, they will soon learn it's location. As Kitty says, having planting around the base to soften it means it won't stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,121
    Your conditions sound pretty much ideal for Nandina domestica !
    Evergreen and steady growing ; attractive flowers and long lasting red berries .
    The icing on the cake for me though can be the brilliant autumnal (in fact most of the year) colouration .
    Some good imagery on Google !
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,503
    My issue with plants purportedly offering year-round interest is that mostly it is year-round hardly any interest.

    What you choose depends a lot on whether it is a reasonably formal setting or a looser country garden style. Is it the front or a rear garden? Another obvious point is whether you actually want to draw your eye to this focal point or is the aspect beyond a better one? How visible is the lawn from principal seating areas, indoors and out? 

    Pending further details and, even better, a couple of photos I would consider a large chimney pot and fill it with a succession of pot plants: hellebores then tulips, then geranium Rozanne, then a variegated ivy. I would have underplanting at the base of the chimney and would choose a chimney pot that reflects vernacular architecture.

    A bird bath seems like a good idea but just a word of caution. We have one next to a frequently visited bird feeding station. Since installing it in late winter, I think I have seen birds use it twice.
    Rutland, England
  • Why the height limit?

    Something like an Amelanchier would be amazing as a centre piece, and with pruning, could be maintained with reasonable dimensions...
  • purplerallimpurplerallim Posts: 5,115
    edited May 2019
    What about a twisted hazel. Summer leaf , Autumn nuts, winter beautiful twisted limbs and spring catkins.  Under plant with spring bulbs and a bird bath, all year viewing pleasure. 

    You do realise that with any tree you will need 1/2 to 1 metres of grass around the trunk clear of grass.
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