Plant of the week
Fagus Purpurea 'Roseomarginata'
Why you should plant it
This is my last plant suggestion of the year and I'm mentioning this tree because it is such a wonderful plant.
There is some confusion between this beech and the F. Purpurea 'Tricolor,' which looks similar. In any case, this purple-leaf form of beech has a pinky border on the foliage. A glorious addition to a small garden, it's a scene stealer if there ever was one.
Where to plant it
It might get burned if it's in too much sun, so put it in a place where it will be protected from the midday blaze. It can grow to 10 metres, but, in heavy clay, not quite that large. In the 15 years I've had one, I've experienced no problems with this plant except that it needs deep watering during a drought. A hit of compost is a good idea and so is mulching.
The branching is more horizontal than the usual beech, so place it carefully – i.e., not too close to other trees.
What it offers
This spectacular small tree can be used as a focal point or even as a way to perk up a dull hedge in the background. It grows slowly, with the most amazing leafing in spring. The bark is smooth and grey and the shape is attractive in winter. Backlit by morning or evening sun, this is a jaw-dropping plant and, in case you haven't detected, one of my favourites.
Source and cost
I hope and trust that this specimen will be in all good Zone 5 and 6 nurseries next year. See you then.
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