Now that summer is here, swatches of green are more than grown into the treelines of Northern
Illinois. Commonly thought of oaks, maples and elms are all beautiful trees that fill up sky high
masses of trees in the distance of a forest preserve, but for small gardens and patios, these
shade trees overbear. If you’re looking for a small tree that will provide some shade or structure
to a small garden or patio, you won’t go wrong with these:
Ranging from miniature, almost bonsai in size to a medium sized tree that provides incidental
shade, Japanese maples are a magnificent addition to any small garden or patio area. With
lush, vibrant color these trees can span from 5 to 25 feet in height. These trees will incorporate
deeply saturated reds, orange, yellow and sometimes purple. Delicate foliage and spindly
branches, these are truly unique trees that do best in partial shade.
Known for their heart shaped leaves and distinctive wavy branches, these enchanting trees are
well worth looking into. Characteristic dazzling, deep magenta, pinpoint flowers that grow on
bare branches and fruits, redbuds are an easy to maintain specimen tree that will provide light
shade despite its compact habit.
These interesting plants have a brilliant red fall color and large white mid spring flowers,
followed by bright red fruits. The fruits of dogwood are edible, and almost Suessian in their
cartoonish appearance. Foliage is a vibrant green that is apt to wave in an afternoon breeze,
providing a pleasant ambiance. These trees will do best in a partially shaded area.
Tree form magnolia as well as the shrub variety are perfect for a small garden or patio area. An
inspired installation could be within a hidden garden, next to a cut flagstone bench. While short
lived in the early spring, magnolia flowers are well known for their upright appearance, with long
elegant petals of with white, blush pink or magenta. These are absolutely gorgeous plants with
some varieties having a delicate floral scent.
Flowering crab apples
These magnificent trees are absolutely a wonder to behold in the spring. Deliciously fragrant,
and some varieties having a deeper smell than others, flowering apples are also known for their
bright springtime color. Ranging from dwarf and overhanging to medium sized upright, flowering
crab apples are excellent in range and utility.
If you’re designing a new patio or small garden area, these are excellent trees to look into.
Figure out what your needs are and what aspects of a tree you desire most for your landscape.
Fragrance, flowering, blooming time, branching, shade and leaf structure are all aspects of a
tree that you can use to determine what you’ll end up planting. As always if you need a
recommendation, feel free to ask our expert staff next time you visit us.
Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center is a full service landscape center and nursery
located in Cary, Illinois. Give us a call or stop in today to see our full selection