Fall planting is here. At least...for me it is. I have two real gardening/planting seasons: Spring - when I can't help myself and get busy in the garden/at the garden center/at the Morton Sale. And then Fall - when I divide and transplant and buy things that go on end-of-season sales. This is the first planting of that 'fall planting' period and is something that I've been thinking about for years. And, finally did something about it. I'm talking about the northside of our garage, where we get full shade and have a narrow, foundation bed that borders the bluestone chip path that leads to our backyard. All the way back in 2018, I started posting about what to do with this area in terms of trees and shrubs. There are really two parts that *could* be addressed. First..against the house to sort-of soften-up the large, white, blank wall. And, then (potentially) against the property line to provide a sense of 'privacy' or screening from the driveway nex
Showing posts with the label espalier
Took these two photos (below) earlier this Summer - June - after I cleaned up the sets of espaliers in the back and side yards. First, the Apple trees in Belgian Fence. Then, the SugarTyme Crabapples in horizontal cordon (for now). This was post-pruning and they (now) look much more shaggy with new growth all over the place. The Belgian Fence needs to still have a couple of replacements. Note to 2024 self.
We might have a problem in the garden. Or, we might have something else totally. I'm talking about the volunteer Silver Maple tree that popped up last season and one that I have left alone all this year. Has it grown? Yeah. It.has.grown. A LOT. I last posted about this tree in mid-July (about 50 days ago) and it has not slowed down since then. I mentioned in that post that I was guessing it had put on 3' of new growth this year. Now? I'd say it is more like five feet of new growth. It is every bit as tall as the Exclamation London Planetrees that sit by the fence . Below, is a look at the current state of this (questionable-in-value) tree that is in our south beds: I didn't plan for this tree. And...I've read all about the merits of Silver Maples. Naturalist Donald Peattie wrote an length about the Silver Maple and called it a paradox . Both the pros - fast-growing, beautiful crowns and ability to grow in hard-to-grow spots and their cons - it gets
Planted in late October 2021, we have a set of three Exclamation London Planetrees that are planted pretty close to our fence in the backyard. I tucked them in behind the row of Oakleaf Hydrangeas along the south bed. When I planted them, I talked about drawing some inspiration from Disneyland and wanted to try to train these into being 'cube-shaped' or pleached in some way . They were BARELY more than whips when they went in - something on the order of say .5" caliper. They were barely peeking over the hydrangeas and not much taller than the fence that sat behind them. I have not touched them with a pruner since they arrived. I've watered them - along with the shrubs - when I can. And...in the photo below, you can see their current state. All three have survived and are now more than three-feet-above the top of the fence. My plan - at the time - was to get sturdy trunks established about eight-feet-tall. And then begin to make the pleach cage/frame on top
I've been all-in on Team Carex thanks to Roy Diblik and his Northwind Perennial Farm up in Wisconsin. He introduced me to sedges (Carex) and talked about how he uses them in his plantings. Over the years, I've bought a number of different sedges from Northwind including: Bromoides and Little Midge , Albicans and Pensylvanica . Now, I can add another one to the list: Carex Montana. The photo at the top of this post shows three Carex Montana plugs that I bought from Northwind last month and planned on planting by the Linden trees that are espaliered. Below is the sign from Northwind that includes this description: You've noticed the rich, soft green, beautiful foliage. Plant this in your shade garden and develop a ground layer of soft textures that will enliven your other plants and reduce weed seeds from germinating. Mix this Carex with other Carext to create a tapestry of colors and textures. Why not?? Haven't you wood chipped long enough??? Shots fired at
A few weeks ago, I posted back-to-back photos and posts showing how I dug out and transplanted a number of perennials including hostas and alliums to prepare the bed at the feet of the espaliered Greenspire Linden trees for a replanting of evergreen (Boxwood) shrubs. I opted for Boxwoods underneath these two trees as part of my 2023 to-do list (#1 was evergreens) and this area was my #1 priority . I originally planned for a full, staggered double hedge of Boxwoods and I bought 13 Boxwoods. Seven Green Mountain for the back row. And six Green Velvet for the front row. The one gallon boxwoods at the orange big box nursery went on sale recently and I bought when the price dropped. I started by cutting the new (further out) edge of the bed and had to deal with locating the cable line in the ground. I was careful to not cut that cable, so I mostly dug out by hand with my hori hori. I then went and measured the spacing for the 13 boxwoods. In order to try to not disturb the r
Planted in the early Fall of 2021 , this pair of Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees are starting to show a bit of espalier training form with four levels on very young trees. One year ago ( post here ), all four layers weren't really quite established. Today? All of them are *started*, with the inside, bottom layer the smallest. See below for a photo showing these flowering crabapple trees in mid-May 2023. My plan is to turn the tips up by pruning them off and driving new growth. The 2nd-for-lowest limbs are probably the closest to being ready for that hard prune. I recently pruned off the apical meristem in an attempt to drive new, thicker growth down the tree. I've also left on a trunk-thickener branch at the bottom that I don't intend to train, but am using to thicken-up the trunk.
The pair of Greenspire Linden trees that are in espalier are putting on a 'bud show' this week as their leaves emerge from these pink-hued bud covers. These trees are interesting when they're naked and dormant. When they're covered in green, Summer foliage. They turn golden yellow as they start to go into dormancy in the Fall . And...also in Spring when they are colorful like in the photo below. A little over a month ago, I removed the training posts from these horizontal cordon espaliered trees in our backyard .
Five and a half years. That's how long the three posts have been installed in our backyard as a training device for the pair of Greenspire Linden trees that have been pruned in an horizontal cordon espalier. This past weekend, I disconnected all of the wire and pulled the three posts down. I put the posts in the ground in September of 2017 - look how NEW everything looks here . Over the years, I've worked these trees to be a four-level espalier and it had matured (enough) to no-longer require the heavy-hand of a post and wire system. See below for the pre-removal state: And....below...are the trees with the posts and wires removed. Feels VERY DIFFERENT over there (to me, at least) now. The top row of the cordon is thick and strong and vibrant. Each layer down gets thinner, but the bottom layer has finally reached the fully-mature length. I'll work to keep that bottom row horizontal with a bamboo pole. #9 on my 2023 to-do list was to 'keep working the espalie
How old are our pair of Greenspire Linden trees that are in our yard? I'm NOT sure. But, I know that we have them in our yard for (coming up on) six full years - and this will be our seventh growing season. Planted in the Summer of 2017, the have grown into their own across those six growing seasons. The last time I showed these trees was in October when they were putting on a fall show with orange and yellow foliage . This past September, I documented via caliper sizing the overall growth of these trees: they are both greater than 3" calipers now. They went from a little bit over 1.5" to more than 3" - doubling in size since 2020. My plan for this year is to plant underneath these and remove the frames. But, before I do that, I went out this weekend and began to prune some of the tops of these trees. That top layer of the espalier is thick and full of new growth. What kind of growth? What would appear to be something like a waterspout that sends s
Yesterday, I posted a photo of the Green Gem boxwoods in our backyard and talked about how evergreens were going to be a point of focus for anything I add this year in the backyard. Back at the end January, I put out a list of some potential projects/priorities that included adding some structure via evergeen shrubs at the base on the pair of Lindens in our backyard. I've posted about this idea before and talked about adding boxwoods here . But, I'm now thinking what it could look like if I planted them in pattern that is something a bit more interesting. And, perhaps more formal. I've been sitting on this photo from Deborah Silver for months now. See below: View this post on Instagram A post shared by Deborah Silver (@deborahsilver) And, here's a screenshot of the three-deep sculpted boxwood hedge on the corner: What's NOT to love about this, right? Of course, the skill involved here in shaping these is world-class, but let's for
A couple of days ago, I posted a photo of the Magnolia tree fuzzy flower bud that I spotted on the tree this Winter and talked about how observing tree buds has really shifted my mental gardening model from a Spring start and Winter finish --> Early Winter start and Fall Dormancy finish. That means, after the trees shed the leaves, they start to set next-year's buds. And, *that's* when the season starts (for me, now). On the same day that I took the photo of the Saucer Magnolia tree, I wandered by the pair of early-espalier Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees that are planted on the south wall of our house. I planted the pair of these trees in September of 2021 , so this was the first FULL growing season. They bloomed white flowers this Spring - for their first set of flowers . And set their first fruit (for us) this Fall . I've begun to train and prune these trees this season into an (eventual) Palmette Verrier espalier shape with three or four tiers. As part of that
The pair of Greenspire Linden Trees that are planted in a horizontal cordon espalier have held on to all of their leaves to date. They're just starting to turn yellow - see photo below - with a mix of green and yellow foliage across all four levels of the espalier. You'll note that some other plants - like the hostas - have gone dormant and turned yellow, while others (the Summer Beauty Allium on the bottom right) have remained green. The last time I showed this espalier was earlier this Summer (June), when the trees put on ALL of the leaves in a couple of weeks . If you look closely at the photo above, you'll see some growth on the top level that needs to be pruned back in late Winter as the top-level continues to try to establish a leader or leaders in normal-tree fashion. As measured this Summer, these are now BOTH over 3" caliper trees and have been in the ground here since August of 2017 . That's five years of growth here across the growing seasons. Wh
A year and a month ago, I planted a pair of Crabapple trees along the side of our house on the southside. After some hemming-and-hawing about what kind of trees I should plant in this spot (knowing I wanted to espalier them), I decided to plant Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees . Why? Because they're on the list of species that are both suitable for our Zone AND have 'excellent' disease resistance. In the 13 months since planting, I've shown these trees in various posts - both about the trees as well as posts showing off the Disneyland Roses. The most recent post was just last month when I was showing off the late-season blooms on the floribunda roses . My plan for these is to create a Palmette Verrier shape , which calls for the bottom branches to be the longest, followed up each level with a shorter horizontal branch terminating in a vertical segment. So far, I've trained out four levels on one of the trees and three levels on the second tree. The wall these
Our Disneyland Roses - which are Floribunda Roses - have a cyclical bud --> bloom cycle that hits a few times each growing season. In late September, I'm seeing this cycle hit for what I think is the third time this season and what is usually the LAST of the bud--> bloom cycles. The last time that I posted about the blooms was back in mid-June when they were looking great . That was their first bloom cycle. Sometime in early/mid August was cycle number two. And, right now, we're at the beginning of cycle number three. See below for a couple of photos showing all three Disneyland Roses. First are a pair that are closest to our backyard. The one on the left is the OLDEST, but it was transplanted this past Spring, so it is the smallest . You'll also note that the pair of espalier-in-training Sugar Tyme Crabapple trees behind the roses below: The third Floribunda rose is set about fifteen feet to the East - towards our front porch - on the other side of our base