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38 Please remember to mention OVL when responding to adverts GARDENS T he autumn-flowering cherry a highlight of the winter garden is a beautiful small tree which will give brightness throughout the winter season. There are two varieties Autumnalis which has white-tinged pink blossom and Autumnalis Rosea which has darker pink blossom. The flowers have a delicacy and charm which is different to the more showy spring-flowering cherries. The semi-double white flowers of Autumnalis are tiny and bell- shaped and open from deep pink buds on mild autumn days continuing to bloom sporadically on bare branches throughout the winter. The wand-like branches clustered with flowers with frilled petals can be cut for a fragrant indoor display with their sweet scent of almonds. A stunning small tree for a sunny garden the autumn cherry flowers from October to April. Autumnalis Rosea is also a small deciduous tree with a lovely spreading habit and dark green ovate leaves which turn yellow orange and red in autumn. Pale pink semi-double flowers open during milder weather from late autumn to early spring when the bare branches are smothered in dark pink blossom only being temporarily halted by cold weather. A wonderful choice for a smaller garden with limited space the pink autumn cherry flowers from October to March. Early flowers are without stalks but as spring approaches the display becomes more colourful and the blooms develop on long stalks. Prunus Autumnalis is fully hardy. It should be planted in full sun in moist well-drained fertile soil. It will tolerate most soil types. When planting incorporate lots of well-rotted garden compost in the planting hole which should be square to encourage the roots to grow straight down rather than round and round. Make sure the hole is deep enough to bury the roots. Prune in summer cutting back any dead or diseased branches. When the blossom fades away in the spring the tree will not dominate your garden because it will not grow to be too tall or look bulky. Even after 20 years it is unlikely to be more than 15ft 4 metres tall. The tree will not provide much of a show in summer but you can adorn it by planting decorative climbers such as clematis or rambling roses to weave their way through. Prunus Autumnalis will come into its own again in autumn when it sometimes produces tiny berries which the birds will love. The leaves change colour and fall just before the first flowers open the light and delicate gossamer-like blossoms once more bringing comfort and a little warmth lifting your spirits during the darker days of the year. Keep your young tree watered well throughout the summer and you will be rewarded with its amazing blossom brightening up your winters for many years to come. It is well worth planting a winter-flowering prunus. Blossom during the winter season is a rare and welcome spectacle. Bring delicate blossom into your winter garden with this perfect tree the autumn-owering prunus. Rosemarys Garden