The Allee: Part II

 OK, maybe I shouldn’t have done it, am I jumping the gun a bit?

Did I give enough agonizing thought to the tree selection for my allee?

I had tons of great ideas, especially Teza’s cornus’, but I worried that having two lines of 7 cornus (14 in total) was asking for trouble, not only very expensive to buy, but maybe marginally hardy, what if one or two died, it would take forever for them to match up in size.

So this weekend Ian was sailing in the Canadians, and I was driving up to Kilbourne Grove by myself. Really, he had only himself to blame. He should have known if I was by myself, I would be compelled to visit as many nurseries as possible on the way.

I started (and ended) at Humber Nurseries, not because I was tired of plant shopping (that will never happen), but because the car was crammed to the rafters.  They had serviceberries 50% off.  Obviously I was meant to plant them, the birds will love me and all those cornus’ that Teza suggested, I will get one of each of them and plant them in the Flora Glade (making it even more glade like).

After all, I am an instant gratification girl, I don’t like to wait for anything. Gardening is definitely teaching me patience.

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Here you can see that I just set the pots on top of the beds that I told you about here.

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I had to work out the spacing. A bit difficult, as I need to put two paths through the middle of the north walk, and one path through the south walk. One path enters the Allees north side from the (what I am calling the Yew garden, as it has a newly planted yew hedge on both north and south sides) and also a path from the Flora Glade.  The south side has a path exactly opposite the Flora Glade path through the north side (does this make sense?) so you can get to the cedar hedge at the back of the property. One problem, is this has only been worked out in my mind, there is nothing to see here folks.

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The south side is planted.

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Here you can see the whole thing from the kitchen garden, as much as you can see, it was a sunny day, the middle of the afternoon, not the premium time to be taking photographs, but needs must.

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And from the Lime Walk. You can see that only one serviceberry has been planted on the north side, add that to the 4 on the south equals 5. Did I not tell you that I bought 6! When I went to plant the 6th, I hit the uncomposted materials that I had dumped in here, before covering with a layer of topsoil and bark mulch. The other side and the end where the first serviceberry were planted, is straight compost. So I have heeled the 6th serviceberry in the Kitchen Garden for the winter. In the spring the compost should have rotted down and I can transplant it then.

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I had a lot of helleborus from the shop. I have been holding them in the Kitchen Garden since April, and they have done very well. I transplanted them to the Allee and underplanted with Bridal Crown narcissus, Woodstock hyacinths and (a perpetual Kilbourne Grove favourite) muscari.

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I still have a long way to go. This portion of the Allee is 20 feet with a 4 foot path dividing it from the Lime Walk. I am going to continue all the way to the Kitchen Garden (had toyed with the idea of making a different “room” there, but I worry that I am getting a bit “botanical Garden” like, to quote my Landscape Design professor). The Allee will end up at 45 feet long and there will either be 7 or 8  trees on each side. (I did have it counted and measured, but that is up at Kilbourne Grove and I am sitting in my Toronto condo, so I am guessing). I will not be able to get back to Humber and get more serviceberry this year, (it is a bit out of my way), not to mention I don’t even think that I will get the other portion of the Allees beds made. There is still tons of bulbs to plant, peonies to transplant and leaves(in the future) to rake. I think this will become a spring project.

25 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Joy said,

    Deborah I had so much going on I haven’t been able to get here for a bit. BUT WOW ! .. you have been tree shopping girl !! .. I have “Autumn Brilliance” serviceberry planted this past Spring .. and even with the berries it put out after the beautiful white flowers .. our Robinator ate them ALL .. I swear he could hardly fly after that … serves him right .. we didn’t even get one to try !
    I am also looking for one perfect, smallish specimen tree for a corner .. to block out the view of my neighbor’s house .. but to look gorgeous too .. I need advice from as many gardeners as possible for my zone 5b !!
    PS … those areas are going to look gorgeous with what you are planting .. I so wish we lived in a more country setting ourselves ! BIG sigh 😉

    • 2

      Joy, I am just a girl who can’t say “no”, at least while I am at a nursery. I am happy to hear that the birds love this so much, we have a lot with the Niagara Escarpment right behind us, so they will be happy.
      I have a redbud, that is beautiful and has been hardy for the three winters that it has been in. Also cornus kousa has been in for that amount of time as weel and has been very hardy. Both are very beautiful. Or a witch hazel is another great choice. I planted Arnolds Promise last year and it was flowering in November and then again in March (it seems to take a break through the coldest parts of the winter). Hope that you will like one of those.

  2. 3

    teza said,

    My, but we have been a very busy gardener! The Serviceberry is a perfect choice! Their brilliant spring display of white flowers that will mimick swathes of white butterflies….. oooh, I can hardly wait for your Spring photos! Hopefully this image will get us both through the wintertime blahs!
    Helleborus – another perennial favourite! Thanks for the link my friend!
    Its poring cats and dogs and other animals this morning – not sure that I should bother opening the gates to the nursery…… only I know this is the day when the tried and true gardeners don the wellies, rain gear and umbrella and head off in search of bargains!
    Great update- the photos are wonderful!

    • 4

      Thanks Teza, for your very kind words. I love the serviceberries already, but I still want some of those cornus that you recommended. A must for spring 2010 for my Flora Glade!
      I am glad it is raining, I always worry after newly planting and not being there to water.

  3. 5

    How lovely! It will be so beautiful once established. My newly planted bulbs are teaching me patience, it isn’t so much that I can’t wait for their blooms, but I find it somewhat stressful not being able to know if they’re ok (too wet, too dry, too low, too high…). I really like to check on/baby new additions. Time will tell. 🙂 Rebecca

  4. 6

    I like to as well, Rebecca. It drives me crazy to not be able to see my babies all week, when they are in a different city. Are they getting enough water?
    It is even worse when we have to skip a weekend, what delights have I missed?
    Patience, grasshopper, Patience!

  5. 7

    fairegarden said,

    Hi Deborah, excellent choice and when something you need is half off, it was indeed meant to be! It looks great already and the plans sound wonderful. Your allee will be the stuff of legend someday! I had wanted an allee of birch trees when this garden was planned out, but was only able to have one side of it. A word of advice, trees have a way of growing *out* more than you expect! There will be pruning. 🙂

  6. 8

    Thanks Frances, I hope that it will look fabulous one day. When I went on line to figure out how far apart to plant the serviceberries, most sites recommended 6 -10 feet. I had wanted a real “tunnel” effect. which I know will involve a lot of pruning, actually one thing I really enjoy.
    How far apart did you plant your birch allee?

  7. 9

    The serviceberries should look great in that setting, I enjoy seeing the pictures, and reading how you decided to get them. You have a beautiful setting for your garden, and lots of space to plan and plant.

    I really fell in love with Helleborus this spring. The green leathery leaves gave a fast start to the garden in spring, when very little else was out. Plus, the flowers bloom for so long. I can see them flourishing in your garden.

  8. 10

    Thank you for your kind words and visiting my blog. I am lucky enough to have lots of space and fully intend to plant every square inch of it. I really like how airy the serviceberries look as they grow, and the leathery leaves of the helleborus will be (I hope) a great contrast to them.

  9. 11

    teresa said,

    It will be a great tunnel to walk through in no time. When you are planning it seems like you will have to wait forever to see it fill in, but before you know it, full and lush. Don’t you love a sale? What could be better. Plants you love and half price. Hey it was lonely in the car right?

  10. 12

    I love a sale!!! I don’t know why more people, (and I say people, not gardeners), don’t plant this time of year. The soil is warm, there will probably (hopefully) be six more weeks until snow, and plants settle into the garden very well. But, a lot of people and (beginner gardeners) think that you can only plant in the spring. This leaves a lot of beautiful plants homeless.

  11. 13

    marydelle said,

    You have so many changes going on in your garden. What ambitious projects. But it looks like they are slowly taking shape. I like your allees. They will look so nice when the trees have grown a bit. They will also give a nice structure feature in your garden.

  12. 14

    I am ambitious, at least right now. As this is a future retirement house, I am trying to get in all the slow growing plants now, the hedges, trees, shrubs, and now, while I am still young(ish). These will have a chance to mature (as well I), and when we move up there on a permanent basis, I will add more perennials, annuals and containers. Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting, hope to see you again.

  13. 15

    wendy said,

    this is looking really nice!! Keep the pictures coming! I love seeing these things take shape! I think you asked before about the drilling in the stump – I really can’t remember where I saw it, but I don’t think it’s anything too complicated (at least in theory!!), whatever I saw was just bored out on the inside of the stump (i would be careful to leave the perimeter thick enought so it doesn’t crack with weather). Then there was a hole drilled near the bottom and straight in from the side for drainage. Sorry I can’t think of where I saw this idea – it might have been from a mag I picked up somewhere…

  14. 17

    It must be difficult to not see them for a week or more, but you are so lucky to have such a large space to work with. Are your ideas evolving bit by bit, or have you had a master plan in mind all along? 🙂 Rebecca

    • 18

      You have no idea Rebecca, sometimes, if we arrive on a Friday night, I will go out with a flashlight in order to see what has happened.
      This is the third house that Ian and I have owned, everytime the garden was not big enough. Hopefully, I will not fill every nook and cranny here, at least not for many more years.
      The question about the garden plan gave me an idea for a post. It has been a bit of both. I had a bit of an idea, but when I look back at all the scraps of paper, I see a lot of ideas, that have been thrown out. I am attempting a very, very rough map of the garden and will be posting it shortly.

  15. 19

    fairegarden said,

    Sorry for not returning to answer sooner. 6 to 8 feet apart should give you the effect you want in a short time. I am guessing that you want them closer to fill in rather than if it was a specimen planting. My birches are about 6 feet apart and have filled in way faster than expected, hiding the house next door just over the fence nicely.

  16. 20

    Thanks for the info, Frances, I want them to hide the Deliverance house behind us, sooner, rather than later. I did plant them 6 feet apart, but was a bit worried that was too close. (I do love to prune!)

  17. 21

    I look forward to your plans post, but don’t go to too much trouble just because I’m being nosy! I have also gardened by flashlight, I mentioned this to my friend at the garden centre and she said ‘you’re either very dedicated or a little crazy’, I wonder what the neighbours think? 😉

  18. 22

    I think that I am a little of both, I will also get out in the very early spring, with a kettle of warm water, trying to melt the ice and/or snow over top of the bulbs. Mostly it is snowdrops, as they are the very first and I am very anxious.
    When I read my design books, I am always referring back to the garden plan, just so I can get a really good handle on where things are. It probably will not be until Monday, I have a really busy next few days, a friend leaving for Nunavut for a new job, and a command appearance at my dads. Your “nosiness” will be really peaked by the slighty longer wait. LOL

  19. 23

    No problem at all, I’m learning patience. 😉

  20. 24

    sequoiagardens said,

    Deborah, the more I read of your blog, the more I sense a kindred spirit! I have ready EVERYTHING by and of the Nicholsons: letters, diaries, biographies… My favourite – or most influential – author was Russell Page. I too have 100s of books… I’m enjoying reading your planning blogs!

  21. 25

    Jack, I am pleased that you sense a kindred spirit. I love your garden design vision and hope that mine could be 1/10th as wonderful as yours.
    I just picked up Russell Page’s book, I have heard lots of good things about him!

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