Posts tagged trees

Garden Visits: Yesterdays Garden

Last week, Teza asked me and my fellow garden forumers (is that even a word?), to write about our favourite nursery.  At the time, I couldn’t think of any. Sure, I liked some of the big ones, Lost Horizons, Humber etc, but none of them was a place that I could see myself working. And to me, that is what makes a favourite, could I see myself visiting there on a regular(daily) basis, and could I even picture myself working there.  At the time, I had not come across a nursery that could make me feel that way, until this past weekend, when I went to pick up the Tilia trees I had ordered from Yesterdays Gardens.  You know the feeling that you get when you are home, that warm fuzzy feel, I felt that right away.

Turning up the gravel lane, your drive through a narrow tree lined tunnel, before the vista opens up. And you see them, gorgeous display gardens.

Love that white metal arbour.

Wait, I like this arbour too!

Another view of it.

Do they know I am looking for a statue?

Arriving at the main sales area, we were greeted by two cats,and had a look around while the owner was serving another customer.

The first hoop house we came to had a lovely assortment of interesting perennials, but the second,

look what was in it. Davidia involucrata was a tree I had only seen in books and magazines, but here it was in the flesh. This variety ‘Sonoma’ , flowers in its second year, unlike the species, that can take up to 20 years to flower.

I also saw,

Sinocalycanthus ‘Hartlage Wine’, isn’t she a gorgeous colour. These were just two of the fabulous shrubs and trees in this hoop house, I want them all!

Wandering back out to the main sales area, I was greeted by Karen Charron, who owns the place along with her husband Ron. And I mean warmly greeted. When I told her who I was, (and bear in mind, we had only talked on the phone when I was ordering the trees), Karen leapt out from behind the counter to hug me. Leading the way to the hoop house where my Tilias were stored, she kept us entertained all the way with stories about different plants and suppliers she knows.

Yesterdays Garden was picked as ‘One of Canada’s Top 40 Speciality Country Nurseries’ by Gardening Life magazine and it is well deserved. Believe me, if Ian hadn’t been waiting impatiently, I would have lingered for hours, and dropped a pile of money as well. Luckily for me, (and unluckily for Ian) this amazing nursery is a 10 minute drive from my fathers house. 

I suddenly feel the urge to visit him  ………..

 

Thanks Heather,

Yesterdays Garden is located at #401 328 Grey Road 4, Hanover, Ontario, 1-877-364-2731

 

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The Tale of the Blue Spruce

I hate them.

 OK, that is a bit harsh, but I am not a huge fan.   My parents had planted two on the front lawn of their house, and they grew huge, and blocked the view from the windows. (It was mostly us kids fault, we gave them to my Dad for two Fathers Days).

When we purchased Kilbourne Grove in May 2006, imagine my dismay when I saw this fairly newly planted blue spruce, right on the front lawn. You had a great view of it from the bay window in the front parlour  and I hated it!

But, I left it alone until last month, hoping it would perhaps grow on me.

It didn’t.

So, after promising Ian many favours, we moved it. You notice I said moved it, not got rid of  it. I felt bad for my poor unloved blue spruce. I could not take his life, but I could move him to a more, shall we say, less prominent spot.

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The view from my front parlour. (Sorry, this picture is not great of the blue spruce, I was not taking it with the thought of writing a post about it. You can see that I was attempting to hide it with the Emerald cedars.)

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A little bit more noticeable, taken from outside.

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Notice the big gaping hole here, that was a lot of digging!

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Taken from the other direction. I would like to put a tree back in this spot, but something more (in my eyes anyway) ornamental.

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Something I found a bit odd, but maybe someone with more tree planting experience than I can enlighten me. When we got to the root ball, we found it still in a wire cage. We cut this off when we replanted it, but I was disturbed. Since I am frugal (Scottish), I have never purchased a tree larger than a three gallon pot. Are you supposed to leave the wire cage on? I can see where the tree roots would have plenty of room to grow out, but it seems bad to me, for Mother Earth!

So, we moved the blue spruce close to the road, near the driveway. I am thinking of changing the shape of the driveway to more of a courtyard. This means I have to plant trees and shrubs along the edge of the property, close to the street. We would leave an entrance from the street and then it would widen into a square in front of the garage.

 

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Toronto Botanical Gardens-Fall

I took another course on the 24th of October at the TBG. It was supposed to be on speciality pruning, they already had a basic course. It was made up of two types of gardeners, Home gardeners (all women, for some reason), and “professional” landscape gardeners (who were all men). These men all worked for the same company, and they were there to learn “how” to prune. Their company wanted to learn how to do it the “right” way, not shearing shrubs into little round balls (I think that we have all seen that). While I commend them for this, I was also annoyed.  The course became basic pruning, at  least 99% of it was. The last 5% was devoted to speciality pruning, ie: pollarding, espalier, etc. I took it hoping to get some help with my pleached Lime Walk, something that is very “uncommon” in Canada. But, alas, there was no help to be found.

But, while I was there, I took some pictures. The difference in the last three weeks is huge.

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I would love to look out my window and see this.

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What amazing colour, almost orange!

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Why are my Japanese maples not this colour?

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These are the “full moon” japanese maples,

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A fabulous contrast in colours.

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This is fothergilla “Blue Mist”, what a lovely colour.

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The paperbark maple, or acer griseum.

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Look at the bark, it really stands out against this blue glass background.

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This crabapple is just loaded with fruit. Love the way it hangs over the berberis.

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Again, great colour. Perhaps some planning for next year now, will give me better colour next year.

P.S. Sorry, I got the order of the posts mixed up. After I said in the last post, “it is the last one on the TBG”, I publish this one. This is the last, I swear!

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Falling Down…To The Ground…

It won’t be long till I have a lot of nakedness at my house. Trees, people, get your minds out of the gutter!

Leaves are coming down rapidly now, soon a big wind will come along and that will be it for another year.

I found the leaves were not as nice a colour this autumn, at least not in Owen Sound. I was at the Toronto Botanical Gardens for a course on the weekend and the colours there were fabulous. I am working on a post with pictures from there. Everyone seems to have amazing photographs of autumn colour, but at Kilbourne Grove it was pretty quiet. I don’t know why, I have a sugar maple, silver maples, Japanese maples. Why don’t I have that famous eastern North America colour in my garden?

The japanese blood grass, is well, gorgeous.

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Give it a few years, the clumps merge together, and it will be a sight!

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The cerostigma plumbaginoides is turning red. A great contrast to the blue flowers  (which are almost finished).

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Here it is planted under the cornus kousa I planted as a memorial tree for my mum.

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Look at the amazing purplely colour of the leaves!

Speaking of purple….

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Look at the oak leaf hydrangea. I love the contrast of that dark purple against the golden yew.

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Let There Be Light…

Usually, I would be happy to see some sunlight in the garden, but not this time. I designed the whole Lime Walk around the shade in the garden. There is two 75 foot long rows of hydrangeas  that were planted two years ago. They have been doing very well, especially this summer, but when the maple tree in the back lost 1/3 of its canopy, (you can read about why that happened here)  this happened…

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You probably cannot see it from this picture, but the hydrangeas are looking a little shocky, hopefully that is just temporary. Next years when they leaf out into a more sunlit world, they might just decide they like it.

If not, well, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

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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.

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The Allee: Part I

Who doesn’t love long weekends! And finally a perfect one, sunny and not too hot, perfect working conditions in the garden.

And my garden needed it! The grass has not been cut since August 8th, and that was only the area immediately around the house (just so the neighbours realize that we still live there). Between the weather, and personal commitments the rest of the garden was last cut on July 19th. Yikes! So it took a bit longer then normal. After all, I was spending a lot of time on each spot, first I would have to do a wheelie with the lawnmower, so the blades were high up, and then slowly lower it down over the grass. This did a satisfactory job, but I would really like to be able to cut it on a more regular basis.

At last, I could get to the fun stuff.  I have decided to plant an allee, stretching from the Lime Walk to the Kitchen Garden. I have been mulling over in my mind  for a long time, what kind of tree I should use for the allee. I didn’t want as formal a look as the Lime Walk, but I still love my straight lines.  Something flowering would be nice, and it is a shady area, as there is 6 large maples and ash trees,  whose canopy overhangs it. So it would need to be an early flowerer, who is mostly finished by the time the trees leaf out. I wanted something multistemed, because I want to have a bit of a tunnel effect. I think (and I could be wrong) that this will give me more of a closed in feeling.

 

So we laid out the beds for it, they are 20 feet long and 6 feet wide (at the moment).  I took the opportunity to empty the three plastic compost bins that were at the house when we purchased it.  Some of the compost was still quite rough, so it went on the bottom and the more finished went on top.  This created quite a hump in the middle, that will break down and settle over the winter. I created it using the “lasagna: method, of laying newspaper and cardboard directly on top of the grass, then my rough compost and then a layer of finished. I topped all this with a layer of bark chips from my tree (that blew down a couple of weeks ago).

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I started by pounding in a post next to each bed of the Kitchen Garden. (Forgive me the pictures, I was working in the middle of the day, so it is very shadowy).

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And then I did the same thing at the Lime Walk. As this is only a secondary path through the Lime Walk, it is only 3 feet wide. The Kitchen Garden path is 5 feet wide. So the path narrows as it approaches the Lime Walk. I hope that when you are standing in the Kitchen Garden, looking east towards the Lime Walk, it will seem even further away, due to the optical illusion of the path narrowing. The easiest way to get this straight is to tie a rope between the posts.

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Once I had my straight lines, I began. Newspaper underneath and bricks to outline.

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It went fairly fast. This is how I have laid out all my beds at Kilbourne Grove.  You can see how much more sun I have in this area now, after losing our huge, old maple.  I hope the hydrangea in the Lime Walk  will be able to cope.

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Here we are starting to fill the bed with the rough compost from our bins. You can see in the background a bit of our garden. The yew hedge is directly north of this bed and it is the same length. This allows for a 4 1/2 foot wide path from running south along the Flora Glade.

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Finished the first bed, starting the second. I won’t bore you with any more pictures of this  (especially as the beer didn’t allow me to finish the second), it’s just more of the same. Got the bark mulch on, so no weeds (ha), and I will  plan what to plant here.

By the time the beds settle, it will be spring, and I will be able to plant. I also have approx 12 helleborus in the Kitchen Garden, waiting to be transplanted here.

I stopped the beds at 20 feet, in line with the yew hedge. This gives me a square garden, aprox 25feet, between the allee and the Kitchen Garden, I am not sure if I want something different here, or if I will continue the allee all the way to the Kitchen Garden. So I am leaving it for now, I can always extend it in the spring.

I am thinking of serviceberry  for the allee, but does any one else have any other ideas? Owen Sound is Zone 5B, if that helps.

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