RHS Garden Hyde Hall's plant of the month for October

There are a wide variety of crab apples to choose from but this one is a particularly attractive specimen, great for small gardens

Malus 'Evereste'Malus, or crab apples as they are more commonly known, are a great group of trees for small gardens or where space is limited, as they never reach huge proportions. At RHS Garden Hyde Hall we have always had a good collection of Malus, that are always prolific in flowering and producing fruit.

There are a wie variety of crab apples to choose from and the choice is often down to your personal preference on flowers and fruit. One of the best is Malus ‘Evereste’ which forms a pleasant conical shape as it matures - some Malus can appear ‘messy’ but this cultivar always produces an attractive shape. Malus are deciduous and in spring 'Evereste' produces dark green leaves that are soon followed by red buds which gradually open to reveal white flowers. During the summer the fruits slowly ripen and as autumn arrives the tree is ablaze with colour when it is covered in orange-yellow fruits that are flushed with red. As autumn turns to winter the fruits don’t last long as they provide a feast for the birds.

Malus are easy to grow: they prefer an open site in full sun, in moist, but well-drained soil. Malus can be used as single specimens in the garden, but they look better where they are used in borders with mixed planting where they give height and structure to a composition. At Hyde Hall Malus ‘Evereste’ can be found in a mixed border in the Hilltop Garden where Veronicastrum is grown around it along with lower growing perennials such as Aster amellus and Sedum and late season grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis ‘Sarabande’ which add height and texture.

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