Posts tagged Tilia cordata “Greenspire”

The Year in Review 2011

Another  year has come and gone, where does the time go!


Yet another idea for my garden, it would be a lovely reminder of my time in Barbados!


Bumped up my country count with a quick trip to Trinidad.


Oooh, maybe this would be a better reminder of my time in Barbados.


I arrive back in Canada, just in time for the snowdrops, yay!


I finally get to visit Brian Bixleys garden, after wanting to for many years.


The trees in the Lime Walk get their first prune.


Visited Hunte’s Gardens, an amazing place in Barbados.


Saw my first Kadooment Day parade, and vowed to start exercising when I saw the size of the costumes.


The hydrangea (free leftovers from Easter sales), finally started bulking up in the Lime Walk and looking like something.


Visited another amazing garden while I was home in the autumn. Keppel Croft is located close to Kilbourne Grove.


My SIL came for a visit and we tried zip lining, what an adrenalin rush.


Christmas on the island, what a glorious feeling.

Interested in what happened last year? You can read about it here.

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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


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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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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The Good, The Bad and The Dead

Am I the only one that has song or movie titles stick in their head? Every time I try to come up with the title for a post, one of them comes up in my mind.

In homage to Clint, I would like to take a few minutes to introduce you to my  The  Good, The Bad and The Dead (it is supposed to be  The Ugly, but I am taking poetic licence.

First, the Good– for me it was my snowdrops. I am sure all my regular readers know how obsessed with snowdrops I am, and my pitiful very small collection of snowdrops doubled from last year. Even better, Jen from Muddy Boot Dreams was kind enough to post me some snowdrops ‘ in the green’. This means I will probably have treble next year, very good indeed.

Unfortunately we have to move on to the Bad. Last year, I bought this gorgeous golden yew from Marion Jarvies open garden. I wanted to bring more conifers into my garden, as well as foliage colours, other than green. It was a lovely pyramidal shape and looked perfect.  We do get a lot of now in Owen Sound. Sometimes it is good, as it gives some borderline plants a lot of winter protection, but sometimes, not so good.  The very heavy snow and the conical shape of the yew did not a good match make. As you can see, the top snapped right off.

Even worse, we come to the Dead.

When you are planting an allee, or in this case a pleached walk, you want all your trees to match. Nothing is worse then when one of them dies, but that is what happened to me.  One of the linden trees in my Lime Walk, did not make it through the winter. Now it will have to be replaced and I have lost a whole growing year. But it could have been worse, the walk could have been planted a number of years ago, that would have been more difficult to match up. Now I only needed a five foot Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’ and the walk is complete again.

This is what it should look like,

But one of them looks like this,

The good news is that 5 new Tilia are arriving on Saturday, one to replace this one, and I am extending the walk by four trees. After all, can you ever have too many trees.

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A History Lesson: Chapter III

We move on to the piece de resistance at Kilbourne Grove.   

When I was taking a garden design course, and in all the garden design books I have read, one piece of advice is to design from the inside out. You should start with the views from your windows. There are three windows on the ground floor of Kilbourne Grove that this could apply to. A bay window in the front parlour, looks out at our neighbour,  and the bay window in the library looks out at the street. Neither of them give me much room to work with, but the kitchen window looks out the back of the house and there is 100 feet to the fence.  
This is where I stand much of the day, after all, the kitchen is the heart of the home. So this is where I placed my Lime Walk.  
In England, Tillia or Linden trees are called Lime Trees. I am not sure why this is. But there is a beautiful Lime Walk at Sissinghurst, and it was one of my first garden influences.     
After spending my summer holidays laying out the Kitchen Garden and the Flora Glade, I didn’t have any free time until early November. Luckily it was a beautiful Indian summer.     

November 2007

After pegging a straight line, cedars were planted in a line. This will be pruned into a hedge, and back the pleached limes.     

Newly planted cedars, November 2007

November 2007

The cedars were free, yay, dug up from my brothers farm. They are a bit wonky, but in time they will grow and you will never know.    

You can see  that we have planted a few cedars at the end of the walk, in front of the maple tree. This will provide a backdrop to a focal point, an urn or a statue. You can also see that only the east side is planted, we ran out of cedars before the west side was planted, so that had to wait until 2008.    

May 2008

In early May 2008,  I starting making beds.  More bricks, (where were they all coming from?) outlined the beds. Four cubic yards of triple mix had been delivered, and was wheelbarrowed into place.    


Then it was time to haul out my booty, no, not the one behind me,(thank you J Lo for making them popular). Look at all the goodies that I got  free from work.  I got busy and planted a line of leftover Easter hydrangea. If they live, fab, if they don’t, oh well, they didn’t cost me anything. in front of them a mass of muscari. This was it for 2008, except for planting some Allium “Purple Sensation” in the fall.    

May 2009

 The muscari was beautiful in May 2009 (thank god, I finally got that digital camera)!    


The alliums look beautiful, I am so glad that I purchased another 100, fall 2009.    


The Lindens were purchased bare root (and very small, approx 5-6 feet tall), spring 2009. There are 12 planted in the Lime Walk 6 per side. I am hoping that they will be tall enough this spring to start with my first tier of pleaching, it will start at six feet of the ground.    


Boxwoods were planted in June 2009, they were largish specimens, loosely clipped into balls.    


Hydrangea stay in flower a long time, until a heavy frost.    


This is the view from my kitchen window.

If you want, you can read more here.  

Future plans are very limited, I need a focal point at the end of the walk, where the bird bath is now, I am thinking of a large urn on a pedestal, or a statue, but it needs to be 7-8 feet tall for the scale to be correct.  The limes have to be pleached, and the hedges to be shaped. I am unsure if I will plant a perennial in front of the hydrangea.  I hadn’t planned on it, but I find the muscari foliage is very messy and takes away from the look. The only other project I am toying with is using the bricks as a mowing strip, edging is a pain, so it doesn’t get down as often as it should.  

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Lime Walk

Well, I finally added my “Lime” trees to my walk.  I had a very hard time finding someone who would sell me the small trees that I would need. I am going to attempt to “pleach” my trees.  I have long admired this look in some of my gardening books and when I was living in England, it was quite common.


Tillia cordata "Greenspire"
Tilia cordata “Greenspire”


This is essentially a raised hedge. Trees are planted very close together and are only allowed to grow in a straight line. 

I planted 2 rows of 6 Tilia cordata “GreenSpire” 7  feet apart.My first branches will start at 6 feet, then 8  feet, and the last at 10 feet.

These are backed with a cedar hedge (or what will be).

The only window that looks into the garden from the house is the kitchen window (or I should say the best view).  The way the house is situated on the lot is sideways to the street, so the bay window in the front parlour faces our neighbour and the bay window in the library faces the street, so the kitchen is the only window with a view.  I definitely wanted to have something to look at while I am doing the constant dishes that life seems to entail. So I planned this vista.

I have planted another row of cedars in the front of the maple tree so I can place a large urn or a statue for a focal point at the end of the walk. This will give an ending to the walk.

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