Nothing makes a statement in a garden like a specimen tree as Graham Jeffery, expert and owner of Trevena Cross Nurseries explained to Cornwall Living.
Stockist of a huge range of specimen trees and topiary, Graham is impressed by the grandeur and instant impact these giants can create in any garden. Years of slow, unforced growth cannot be replicated, and this is what gives the tree its prestigious ‘specimen’ title. These are trees with history that have stood for many years and will no doubt continue to stand for many years to come.
The Olive Tree is one of the ultimate greats with its attractive grey-green foliage and fragrant creamy-white flowers in summer. It is also very well suited to the typically free draining Cornish soil.
Can I grow an Olive Tree in my garden?
Water of life
The Olive needs perfectly free-draining soil, to the point that you can stand there with a hose and watch the water disappear. If the site is too wet, the tree will lose its leaves. A stony free draining site is perfect.
A sheltered spot
Generally, the Olive is very hardy. It has survived down to -10°c at Trevena Cross, but it is best to be safe and fleece it in extremely cold temperatures. They will grow well in a coastal position in sheltered inlets, but in an exposed cliff top garden you may be better choosing a hardy specimen palm like Chamaerops Humilis or Trachycarpus Wagnerianus.
Feed me, feed me
An excellent slow release fertiliser should be used to feed the Olive, especially if it is to remain in a pot.
Looks are everything
An Olive can work well as a solitary show stopping specimen but is equally happy alongside plants like Lavenders and Chamaerops, in a Mediterranean inspired landscape.
For information and advice about specimens, seek the help of a Cornish expert like Trevena Cross, Breage.
Tel: 01736 763880