The Allee

When I decided  I wanted an allee at Kilbourne Grove, I had a very difficult decision to make. What tree would the allee consist of? Sleepless nights were spent dreaming about what it could be, I asked for your help, many suggestions I received. But in the end, the decision became clear.  If you are looking for a good all season shrub or tree, look no further than the Serviceberry or Amelanchier.

These are not the finest pictures I could have shown you, but it rained most of the weekend at Kilbourne Grove. Finally cleared up late in the afternoon, and I dashed around taking some photographs.

I am glad that I took these of the Serviceberry Allee. Last weekend when we were up, they were in bud, this past weekend, the flowers were not only open, but starting to shed a bit. I am sure by the time we arrive up on Saturday, they will be mostly finished.

A lot of people prefer some longevity in their flowers, but ephemeral does not bother me. The very first time I brought home a Phalaenopsis orchid for work, I got a bit annoyed at how long it lasted. I felt it might as well have been plastic, for all the attention I paid it after the first couple of weeks.

No, I prefer change. My background of hedges and trees can stay the same, but anything that is flowering, I want it to do something. This is probably why I do not grow too many annuals.

Although the flowers do not last very long on the serviceberry, it is a lovely tree/shrub for all seasons. The new leaves are a coppery colour, you can just make that out in the photograph. In summer the attractive leaves flutter in the breeze and all kinds of birds swoop in for the feeding frenzy on the berries. It is a blaze of colour in the fall, as well as graceful in the winter.

You might notice that I have 4 trees on one side and only one on  the other, a very strange sort of allee. Relax, I am going to purchase more this fall, I could only fit so many in the car at one time.

I am very pleased with the look of the allee, even in its first season.

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48 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Joy said,

    Deborah I think it is going to look stunning .. I can’t imagine how wonderful it will be when they have grown up .. to walk under them ? amazing .. too bad we can’t fast forward some of our garden so we can bask in how beautiful we knew it would be ? ;-)
    Joy
    PS .. I love my serviceberry to bits : )

  2. 3

    Laurrie said,

    I can see it starting to come together! I would love to grow serviceberry here, but it gets cedar apple rust from all the nearby junipers, which grow wild all around. Do you not get bothered by rust? I hope not… your allee will be so nice when it reaches size.

  3. 5

    It looks great, Deborah. It must be so neat to see the changes every time you go up north.

  4. 7

    jenana said,

    I was at a garden centre last weekend pricing stone for a future patio when I stopped in on the plants to find this Amelanchier you speak of. It was labeled as a native species and one to be reintroduced into the local landscape. I thought it was lovely and I don’t know if it’s because it’s not a “popular” plant, but it was really inexpensive. Your post about your allee has made me decide I should like to add it to my garden!

    • 8

      I’m glad that I was able to introduce to the Amelanchier, jenana. They are such a great plant, and it is nice to use native plants in the garden. I do not see that many in peoples homes, but I have been noticing a few new condos using them in their landscaping, that is great news.

  5. 9

    Hi Deborah, the Serviceberry is one of the prettiest workhorse trees – it really does deliver over the four seasons, and, yes, the birds will love Kilbourne Grove! Great choice for your allee. Look forward to seeing it grow.

  6. 11

    Barbara H. said,

    It’s lovely, Deborah. It’s going to be fun to watch it grow and change. I’ve noticed at my place that when I’m in the moment things seem to be growing so slowly – then the season changes and as I step back in time for a moment I see how far along everything has come. I’m glad you are already there.

    • 12

      True, Barbara, very true. When I was cleaning up the strip of land behind the very first cedars I planted, I suddenly noticed how tall they had got, even very little ones, where the grass was higher then them, were now 4 feet tall, (now they just need to thicken up). That is the great part about trees and shrubs, they really grow almost unnoticed, unlike perennials, who shout “look at me”!

  7. 13

    Lovely Deborah, I’m glad you got some pictures while they were in bloom. :)

  8. 15

    Gilly said,

    It is looking good already. I shall enjoy watching it grow.

  9. 17

    Your allee will look stunning in no time. I planted a Serviceberry in my mother’s garden some years ago, and it quickly became her favorite. Something different for every season, and a robust and hardy tree. An excellent choice, and I can’t wait to see your allee as it matures.

    • 18

      That is the great part about them Clare. I had some great suggestions for very beautiful trees, but when you have more than one matching tree, you want it to be very hardy (and inexpensive).

  10. 19

    Yes, your allee shows great promise. I look forward to seeing it in all of its seasons.

  11. 21

    Joanne said,

    I love Amelanchier but had not heard of the Serviceberry which looks similar in flower.

    All looks rather promising.

    • 22

      They are the same plant Joanne, serviceberry is the common name used in my part of Canada. There are so many common names for this plant, at least 6 others that I can think of, off the top of my head.

  12. 23

    Deborah I was out this evening taking photos of mine in bloom and hopefully I’ll have them on my blog next week. I love this tree for the same reasons you do too and its just a pity isn’t it that the blooms don’t last so long – but we’ve got those red berries to come and the birds in the garden devour them. I think your allee looks fantastic for its first year and I love the old knarled tree trunks in the background too. :) Rosie

  13. 25

    teza said,

    Deborah:
    You are going to be the envy of the neighborhood when your Amelanchier allee reaches maturity! They truly are an all season tree and have a wonderful coloration in both Spring and Fall. Been one of the best sellers at the garden centre this year – second only to the Chanticleer pear! I strongly urge the addition of one if you…… what am I saying, of course you have the space!

    • 26

      Interesting to know, Teza. All of a sudden they seem to be more popular, I wonder if someone did a feature on them. I know Marjorie Harris has always said it is her favourite tree.

  14. 27

    Jean said,

    They look lovely, Deborah; and they’ll be such a wonderful presence in the garden as they mature more. I never thought about it before, but I think I share your love of the ephemeral nature of many perennial blooms. I have a few (rudbeckia and heliopsis) that, once they get going, will just keep making flowers until a hard frost kills them off, but most last a few weeks at most. This is why I find the daylily season so bittersweet; I love the blooms of daylilies, but I’m exquisitely aware that each lasts only a day.

    • 28

      Jean, I always think that you appreciate things that are “limited” in length. Strawberries taste so much better in June, why eat them any other time of year!

  15. 29

    You are a veritable garden visionary. That allee is going to be amazing.

  16. 31

    Lynne said,

    “No, I prefer change. My background of hedges and trees can stay the same, but anything that is flowering, I want it to do something. This is probably why I do not grow too many annuals.”

    Gosh, that could be me talking lol.

  17. 33

    Barbarapc said,

    I remember selling amelanchiers to folks who were growing them for pies….had to giggle, obviously in their neck of the woods, the birds were doing something else when the berries were ripe. It is so much fun watching the birds swoop in for their annual feast. I can hardly wait to see your allee this autumn. It would be fun spot to take a family picture each year to see the progress.

    • 34

      Those birds got a great feast, I imagine the customers were quite annoyed, lol. A great idea about taking a family picture every year, I would really be able to see the groeth of the trees, (and the aging of myself, yikes!)

  18. 35

    Sylvana said,

    I saw a fantastic allee at Cawdor Castle in northern Scotland made up of goldenchain trees. And I was lucky enough to be there when it was in bloom :)

    I just purchased my very first service berry. They had me at “similar to blueberries”. But the trees are very beautiful to boot.

    • 36

      Sylvana, that I would love to see. I am tempted to plant a goldenchain tree, but I think it is borderline hardy for me. Of course, I would want a whole line of them, like Cawdor or Barnsley House.
      Hope you enjoy your serviceberry!

  19. 37

    debsgarden said,

    I think your allee will be wonderful! I have read about the serviceberry tree. Great color, lovely flowers, attracts birds — my kind of tree! I have been pondering an allee of trees, with a row on each side of my drive as one enters the property. I’m not sure what type of tree to use.Thanks for reminding me of the serviceberry!

  20. 39

    I love the idea of a serviceberry allee! It opens up a tumble of thoughts about using wild/native plants in more formalized situations, very fun.

    • 40

      I love the contrast of very formal structure, the bones of the place, and plants tumbling over the edges of it.
      Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting, I hope to see you back again soon.

  21. 41

    Melissa said,

    I love serviceberry trees and include them a lot in plans for clients with shady or semi-shady gardens (although they flower more when they get more sun). It’s an interesting choice for an allee. I love their multi-season interest. Get a van next time when you’re transporting them!!! (I recommend Bonnie Blodgett’s video clip on bringing home a birch tree with a huge root ball, on The Blundering Gardener, before you attempt something too large . . )

    • 42

      Melissa, you know I have already planted a more formal structured allee with the Tilia. I wanted this to be more like a tunnel from one side of the garden to the other. I will have to check out The Blundering Gardener, sounds like fun!

  22. 43

    I can imagine the outcome and even now you have a lovely effect. I understand about having just so much room in your car! Cannot wait to see it mature.

  23. 45

    Your allee will be beautiful I’m sure. You must be having such fun planning and slowly putting this whole dream together. But I must admit, unlike you with orchids, I do appreciate their longevity, they are so graceful and serene looking sometimes. I often wish they would last even longer.

    • 46

      Probably, if I wasn’t surrounded by orchids all day at work, I would appreciate the longevity so much more, (and if I was paying for them myself, lol). It is a lot of fun, although my landscape design teacher would be horrified, he is always cautioning students not to have a mini Botanical Garden!

  24. 47

    commonweeder said,

    This is going to be a beautiful sight! I have tiny tiny serviceberries, but now realize I can’t plant them near the Potager – because they are deer candy. Where to plant? the question remains.


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