Hello i'm new and would like advice

I am creating a fairly large bed in my farmhouse courtyard. The site is exposed to the NorthEast and have just created a living screen to help with the raw North East Aberdeenshire wind! I have one small birch with beautiful russet peeling bark which is now doing well and I would like to plant two small trees in this new bed that will give me all year pleasure, especially during the cold winter months.

All suggestions very welcome.


  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414

    Deborah, how about your own mountain ash although not good for children the berries are deadly. I live in the northeast and we get icy northerly winds but my two Chamaecyparis lawsoniana Green Pillar and Lanei never faulter.
    They are slow growing aromatic foliage and with gentle clipping will stay conical and low if you wish. The Green pillar is deep green and gets a golden tinge in Spring, the Lanei is golden yellow and fruits, both evergreens, I let mine go and in thirty years are around twenty feet they get tipped every few years to keep them at that height.
    Small trees could also be Juniperus Hibernica, speaks for itself. Any Thuja or Taxus, very slow growing and need a trim now and then, Picia pungens have conical style needles they form an open cone, quite squat and slow growing but all have interest through out the year.
    Hope this helps,


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,090

    I didn't know Mountain Ash were poisonous

  • Thank you for these comments and yes it certainly helps. I have a very large mountain ash that was the only tree in the garden when we bought the farmhouse 7 years ago! It looks as though it's been there forever and dwarfs everything else.

    I've had a look at the the Green Pillar and it looks suitable.


    Many thanks,



  • PalaisglidePalaisglide Posts: 3,414
    nutcutlet wrote (see)

    I didn't know Mountain Ash were poisonous

    Mountain ash or Rowan are Sorbus aucuparia they have small white flowers in spring and then masses of fruit in Autumn usually yellow though orange and red in some species. The builders of our estate planted them in every other garden a dwarf variety and very tempting to children who could reach and pick the berries.
    They probably would not kill you but will make you very ill so people with children cut them down and those of us with them on the front took them out.
    Now the children have grown and most gone so the odd Rowan is creeping back, I like them, just need to be careful with young children is all.


  • Thank you for keeping me right. I did think about Rowan but thought that it might be too big for the courtyard. If I could keep it to about 7 - 8 feet max, then it would be perfect. 

    I beleive that the Rowan tree is supposed to bring good luck to a home (told to me by a farmer of many years). 


    Thanks again,


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