I love this silver birch tree, but I’d love
to see it looking all gleaming and white, the way they do in professional gardens. So
I’m going to go to talk to Lucy Adams, head gardener at Doddington Place to ask her how
they get their birch trees looking so gorgeously white. And is this that I can do with my birch
tree or do you have to have a particular kind of birch? It’s Alexandra here from the Middlesized
Garden, bringing you tips, ideas and inspiration so you can enjoy your garden more. I’m Lucy
Adams, head gardener, at Doddington Place. Most silver birches can be washed. We wash
them in February because there aren’t so many other gardening jobs to do then. Use warm
water with a tiny bit of washing up liquid. Use quite a firm sponge and a soft brush.
When I started talking about washing my silver birches, friends rolled their eyes. But all
those beautiful show gardens have amazingly white silver birches, so I fancy a bit of
that Chelsea or Hampton Court magic on my silver birches too. You can wash silver birches
at any time of year, but Lucy advises you not to do it more than once a year or twice
at the most. Here are my silver birch trees before being washed. I got a large firm sponge,
a soft brush and a bowl of water with a little washing up liquid in it. I washed the bark
and then peeled it off, although you can pull bark gently off a silver birch at any time.
I found that once I started to sponge the green algae came off really quickly and easily.
I didn’t even need to use the brush. It’s quite quick. I did our three silver birches
in under half an hour and they definitely sparkle. And it is quite a wet job, and reaching
up over your head with a wet sponge, you will get wet sleeves. Some professional gardeners
use power washers but don’t use too much pressure. I do think my silver birches look much more
dramatic now they’re gleaming white. So if you have a silver birch in your garden, do
give it a go. And subscribe to the Middlesized Garden for more gardening tips, visits to
private gardens you might not otherwise see and expert interviews. And please let me know
if there’s a gardening job you’d like me to ask an expert about. Thank you!