This week, Harry has honed his focus down on variegated trees. This means they have streaks or splashes of different colours, generally green with gold, or green with white. The colour variation is caused by a variation in the amount of chlorophyll in some cells. Essentially a pigment, when chlorophyll is lower there’s less green on show.
The result really is a show too. That lighter foliage provides a soft visual to soften borders and add interest to green garden settings. Also includes drama and light to a darker corner of the garden.
To start with, Harry has opted for Cornus ‘Variegata’ – Wedding Cake Tree. It might not be edible but it is delicious to look at. With strongly tiered horizontal branches, the ovate leaves have a cream border that surrounds a mid-colour green. From a distance, the effect is simply different. But a good different, making you want to move closer and inspect what’s behind an aesthetic that seemingly bubbles.
In late spring, small white clusters of flowers add yet more drama, before the blossoms give way to black berries, attracting hungry birdlife. This small, deciduous tree has a grace to it, and will grow to 3m
CORNUS contraversa ‘Variegata’ – Wedding Cake Tree, 80lt grade at 1.5-2m, (approx 8 years old)
Also available in 35lt grade at 1.5m,
Harry’s second choice is Griselinia ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Broadleaf. It has a similar leaf pattern to ‘the wedding cake’ but is slightly more leathery in appearance. That lovely mottled colouring will last all year though, as Griselinia is an evergreen shrub. Upright and delightfully hardy, it is suited for use as a specimen or can be trimmed for use as hedging.
Also suitable for borders and more formal designs, it will grow to 3 x 2m.
GRISELINIA littoralis ‘Variegata’ – Variegated Broadleaf, 35lt grade at 1.6m+, (approx 5 years old)
Mottled light-green and yellow foliage of the Griselinia ‘Variegata’