Tree barks are sometimes overlooked in planning a garden. Yet they can be one of the most attractive, permanent features, giving year round interest and growing stronger over time.
Some of the best can be colourful, peeling, patchy, two-tone, rough or smooth, shiny or dull. They draw the eye and invite you to touch and 'feel' the structure of the garden.
Well placed by a walkway or door they can be warm and tactile. When they contrast well, such as with white silver birch trunks against an evergreen backdrop, they can be potent 'exclamation marks' giving perspective. At the end of a footpath they can be a pleasing focus, leading you to see up close the nature of the trunk. In early morning and late afternoon sun, they can dramatically catch the light.
Tempting as it is to help some of the barks that peel do their thing. Resist! You can permanently scar trunks by peeling them before the dead bark is ready to come off.