When choosing summer flowering trees it’s important to know what features it will bring to your garden

AFTER the cherry blossom has fallen, and the daffodils, tulips and bluebells have given way to the emerging summer displays, it's easy to forget that there are many trees still waiting to show off their bloom too. Hiding high above the flood of herbaceous perennials and annuals, are many trees offering beauty and a wide range of flowers during the summer period.

When choosing a tree it is important to know what features it will bring to your garden each season during the year - this can be in the form of structure, shade and interest via its growing habit, foliage, bark and fruit. With this in mind, I would like to share with you some trees that also have exceptional summer flowers to elevate the magic of trees even further during this time of year.

For a late spring/early summer bloom, the Japanese Snowbell (Styrax japonicus) is a compact, yet graceful, deciduous tree that produces hanging clusters of white bell-shaped flowers. As these flowers are sweetly-scented and hang below the foliage, they are ideal for observing up close. This is the perfect tree for a small sheltered garden that needs a transitional interest before summer takes hold fully.

The Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) is a large deciduous tree that will mainly hold your interest with its uniquely-shaped lobed and glossy leaves which appear as if the tips have been cut out. If you have a lot of patience - or know a place that has a mature specimen - it flowers after about 15-20 years and these flowers are where the tree acquires its name. The petals form a distinctive upright tulip shape that are yellow-green with an added orange snap of colour at the base. This tree needs space to perform, otherwise it will grow tall very quickly without sufficient lower branches to give it a pleasing habit.

The Indian bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides) is named after its long bean-shaped fruit which appears in autumn, but this tree has much to offer during summer too. The leaves are late to appear, but are worth the wait when you're presented with huge, bright green hearts forming dense cover. When panicles of white bell-shaped flowers appear in July, they will sit atop the enormous leaves in abundance. The real beauty of these flowers requires you to get up close where you'll see splashes of orange and purple that render them almost orchid-like. These trees can grow up to 50ft and have a multi-branched spreading habit due to terminal buds lost to winter frosts. A towering specimen can been seen at the bottom of the white borders at RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

A more medium-sized tree that will appreciate a sheltered garden with full sun is the Pride of India (Koelreuteria paniculata). Despite its common name, it is actually native to East Asia. This deciduous tree has a satisfying dome-shaped crown, and looks great as a multi stem. In July and August you will be presented with large, ornate panicles of yellow and burnt orange flowers. This tree also provides more seasonal interest throughout the year: the pinnate and serrated leaves appear pink and fresh in spring, then bright orange and yellow in the autumn, whilst the seed pods ripen from orange to pink and look like little lanterns. A cultivar called ‘Coral Sun’ that has received an RHS Award of Garden Merit produces bright red stems in the spring and contrasts nicely against the green summer leaves.

Last, but not least, is the magnificent magnolia grandiflora, an evergreen magnolia with many cultivars to choose from that flowers in flushes from July to August. This tree is traditionally trained against a sunny wall, although it performs just as well anywhere in the garden as long as it’s protected from strong winds. Whichever specimen you choose, enjoy some blossom from on high.