Posts tagged lime walk

Beam Me Up, Scottie

Obviously I watched waaaay too much television as a child. I loved Star Trek, used to wish I could see far off galaxies. And I so wanted to be beamed aboard the Starship Enterprise, (I am sure that Captain Kirk had nothing to do with it, lol).

This photo reminds me of how it looked, I wanted to run into the light rays and see what would happen…

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Oh, It’s a very good year

After my huge disappointment last year with my hydrangea, I was fully prepared to return to Kilbourne Grove and find horrible and wilty hydrangea. I had been reading people’s blogs, and they were all talking about how hot and dry the summer had been. No one is watering my garden while I am away (no one had been watering it when I lived in Toronto either), I am a firm believer in the sink or swim method. As a weekend gardener (and now long, long distance gardener),  I cannot afford to coddle plants. So I was very prepared.

And very pleasantly surprised.

My ‘free’ hydrangeas are really settling into their space and starting to fill out.

Hard to believe that these were all ‘blue’ hydrangea at one time. I was a bit of a hydrangea snob, would not take the bright pink ones. Now they are all various shades of pink, and purple, not a blue to be seen. I now that you need acidic soil to keep them blue, which we do not have in Ontario, and I am actually starting to prefer these colours.

I love how the Allium christophii seed heads look with the hydrangea. I wish I had been there when they flowered, very curious how it looked.

You can also see some seed heads of Allium ‘Purple Sensation’, these have been planted a number of years, but I wanted to extend the Allium season by planting the christophii.

The Hakonechloa ‘Aureola’ is just one of the variety of plants that I am testing at the base of the hydrangea. As you know, I have muscari planted there and when it finishes flowering I find it a bit tatty. Along with the Hakonechloa  I am testing Nepeta, Hosta and Geranium ‘Rozanne’. The geranium was the first to go, I dug it up and moved the plants to the Allee in September. I love the plant, and it certainly flowers heavily, weaving its way through the hydrangea. Unfortunately it also weaves its way onto the path, and I prefer something a bit more tailored looking in this section of the garden. You can also see at the top of the photo the nepeta. Looking at at here, I am not feeling it, but I think I should give it another couple of years before I make a decision. See how messy the muscari seedheads get, must hide them.  We shall see how the other plants make out over the next few years.

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Meet the Departed

It was sheer magic for me when I was home at Kilbourne Grove, even with all the weeding. I was very happy to see how much plants had grown over the summer, but there were a couple of casualties as well.

Why are they always one of a group? It just makes it so much hard to have a uniform presence, I know, don’t tell me, the magic of Mother Nature. I am sure that everyone knows I am trying to start a pleached lime walk at Kilbourne Grove. It was planted in 2009, you can read about that here. I planted the bare root dormant Tilia early that spring and one never developed its leaf buds. So in 2010 I replaced that tree, and as they came in lots of 5, added to the length of the walk. This spring, despite all leafing out and looking wonderful, when I returned in August, one had dead leaves.

 It was the smallest of them all, and had been struggling to grow. And now has failed. I am at a bit of a loss as what to do now, I can order 5 more trees from Yesterdays Garden, but only need one, and certainly can not extend it any more. I did read somewhere that professional gardeners will heel extra trees in somewhere, in case of a tree dying in an avenue. Then they have one at hand to replant. How many years could I leave extra trees in my Kitchen Garden, before they would be too large to move? Some thought is required.

And of course one of the Amelanchiers in my Allee did the exact same thing. And one of the trees that had been planted almost three years ago, not one of the newer ones. This tree will be a lot easier to add in, luckily it is on the end of the Allee.

When I was living in Toronto, we had a number of Japanese maples in pots on our terrace. It was lovely having something growing (and hiding much of the concrete) all summer, and I used to heel them into the Kitchen Garden for the winter, before dragging them out the next spring and moving them back to Toronto. When we got the news we were moving to Barbados, I had to permanently plant them into the ground at Kilbourne Grove. All came through their first winter nicely, and looked lovely when I left the end of May.

But when I returned the ‘Butterfly’ Japanese Maple was crispy as well.

And it had been so gorgeous when I left…  However all was not lost. Look down, all the way down, can you see…

Look at all those lovely new shoots,

 how pink and white and green they are, is seems I might have a ‘Butterfly’ shrub instead of a standard, and that is perfectly fine with me.

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Cut Down to Size

Pleaching

Image via Wikipedia

No, not me, but I could use a little off my butt!

As you can see by the gorgeous picture to my right, pleaching is a very formal look, and I love it!

It is basically a hedge on legs, this gives you a division quite high up in the air, but is a more interesting look than a hedge.

They are very common in English and European gardens. When I loved in London, I saw tons of them, boy I wish I had my digital camera then! Another form of this is a stilt hedge. From what I understand, (and I could be wrong), pleaching is trained on wires, and fairly narrow, where a stilt hedge is trained freehand, and wider on top.

I (I should say we) put the posts up last summer, and the wire was attached this spring. Now it is time to start the pleaching, yay!

Ian puts the wire up,

first one is 6 foot high off the ground.

After the next two levels are up, 8 and 10 feet,

I start tying the tree trunks to the wire.

On most of the trees the first layer of branches can start to be tied to the wire.

This is the only tree that is tall enough for the third layer to be tied to the wire.

I just bent the leader of the tree and tied it horizontally along the wire.  When branches shoot up vertically along the top, I will prune them back to either the second or third bud.

Here you can see the trees

before I started in crazy pruning mode,

 and after.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to start on this,

 I certainly do not know what I am doing, but it is a lot of fun.

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A Birds Eye View 2011

This has to be one of my most popular posts. I am not sure why, did everyone like the idea of me risking life and limb,to climb up on my roof? I know why I like it, I get such a great view of my garden, and I am hoping, in a few years, when the hedges start to thicken,you will not be able to see from one room into the other (except in strategic places). This will be the only way to see the whole garden at one time.  It is nice to be able to look back over the years and (hopefully) see lots of changes. Last year, I took the photos in early April, so not a lot was in flower at that point. This year I had to wait until early May, I don’t think Ian would be happy about me climbing on the roof without him there to supervise. So you can see the garden is much further along.

In the front, the ‘Magic Fire’ witch hazel is placed against the cedar backdrop.  The scilla at the bottom of the photo surround the ‘Daybreak’ magnolia.

The muscari in the Lime Walk  are thickening up. On the right, the path will lead into the Yew Garden, on the left, I need to move the plants to create a path to the croquet Lawn.

The Serviceberry Allee at the top of the photo, leads into the Kitchen Garden.

Here you can see the Flora Glade and Kitchen Garden in closer detail.

Maybe one day I will learn how to post photos side by side, so you (and I)can see the difference from one year to the other.

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Dashed Hopes

What went wrong? I knew when I planted leftover (and free) Easter hydrangeas at Kilbourne Grove, that there was a good chance they would not live. Although they get a fluffy, white duvet of snow every year, I am sure that I am not in the right zone for them. But ‘zonal denial’ and stinginess takes you a long way.

This is what they looked like at the end of July, 2009.

Even though I had planted all blue, they bloomed whatever colour they decided they wanted to be.

I had high hopes for them this year, after all they are an important part of my favourite spot in the garden.

This is what I got,

there are just one or two flowers on the whole thing.

Could the very early (and warm) April, and the cold weather in May have led to the demise of most of the flower buds? What went wrong?

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Snip, Snip!

No, not my hair, although I did get about 4 inches cut off the bottom, my summer look, thank you for asking.

No, I am talking about the Lindens or Tilias, in my Lime Walk.

When I was picking up my trees at Yesterdays Garden in early May, I asked the owner, Karen, if it was too late to prune them this year. She said no, as long as they were pruned very soon, Tilias do not bleed like maples or birch.

So when my father came to visit, and I put him to work. He grew up on a grape farm in Niagara,  so was well used to pruning. Pleaching, looks a lot like the way grape vines grow, trained horizontally, and pruned to buds.  I am hoping to start the lowest branch of the Tilias at six feet.

So I got him some secateurs and he set to work.

You can see how low this tree branches.

I like to see a man, intent on his (my) work, lol.

All done! Hey, how come I have to pick up the branches, oh well, I guess it is a small price to pay.

 

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