Chelsea Flower show gardens of recent years are a rich seam of inspiration. Luciano Giubbilei is an astonishingly stylish Italian designer and this was part of his Laurent Perrier garden in 2011.
Here the pale grey, twisted stems of Parrotia persica multi-stemmed trees stand out against the hornbeam hedge. They do so in a more understated way than the stark white bark of birch trees.
The leaves turn amazing shades of yellow, orange and red in the autumn.
I am hoping to incorporate a couple of these trees in a garden where the backdrop will be a Yew hedge. They are reputed to require a neutral to acid soil, but like Acers, they can be found growing perfectly happily on chalk. They don’t like to dry out though, and benefit from shelter.
Thank you Luciano for the inspiration.