Tag Archives: The Avenue

Planting for Spring

November 14th, 2017 | 11 Comments »

Last week my computer went on the blink and for three whole days, my typing fingers had a rest. The days off-line gave me time to do other things, but instead of using the time wisely, I wandered around feeling bereft.

So it was only yesterday, when all was once again well on the computer front, that I ventured outside to plant bulbs. I should have done this weeks ago but the weather had been so fine, almost summer-like, that I kept putting it off.

Until the snow fell.

 

Snow on November 10? Not a welcome sight.
Snow on November 10? Not a welcome sight.

 

There wasn’t much of it, but it was a clear warning that the job had to be done before the ground froze. Thankfully I hadn’t ordered too many bulbs so the job didn’t take long.

 

Empty boxes and bags are proof that all the bulbs are now in the ground.
Empty boxes and bags are proof that all the bulbs are now in the ground.

 

Planting bulbs lets me hope and dream. Come spring, will I see a sprinkle or a cloud of snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii) alongside the path to  the China Terrace?

 

Daffodils bloom every spring along the path to the China Terrace in May. All being well, the snowdrops will bloom in April.
Daffodils along the path to the China Terrace bloom in May. All being well, the snowdrops will bloom in April.

 

Will the several dozen trout lilies (Erythronium tuolumnense ‘Pagoda’) planted under the witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) by the front door look like they grew there naturally, as I intend?

 

The blossoms on the native witch hazel aren't showy but they shine in the sunshine on an autumn day.
The blossoms on the native witch hazel aren’t showy but they shine in the sunshine on an autumn day.

 

Walking in my mind along the path through the Big Meadow, I dream of seeing a mix of blue and white Camassia (Camassia leichtlinii ‘alba’ and ‘caerulea’) poking their heads through the grass.

 

I planted the bulbs in large groups on either side of the path. Fingers crossed that they will naturalize.
The group of gardeners walking the path through the Big Meadow visited Glen Villa last June. The camassia I planted on either side of the path should bloom soon after, before the grass gets too tall. Fingers crossed that the bulbs will naturalize.

 

And with luck, my dream of seeing foxtail lilies (Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’) towering above the boxwood and nepeta at The Aqueduct will come true.

 

Eremurus isn't reliably hardy in my zone. But the thought of the tall orange-toned spikes rising above the nepeta made the choice irresistible.
Eremurus isn’t reliably hardy in my zone. But the thought of the tall orange-toned spikes rising above the nepeta made the choice irresistible.

 

What I’m most eager to see though, are the blossoms on the long avenue of crabapple trees we finally finished planting. (I wrote about them in my last blog post.)

The Avenue is impressive, whether seen from the road looking north…

 

The ground is a mess now and the tags and trunk protectors need to be removed.
The ground is a mess now and the tags and trunk protectors need to be removed.

 

or from the driveway looking south.

 

The Avenue stretches across the field.
The Avenue stretches across a very muddy field.

 

In the spring we’ll harrow and seed this long strip of earth, now arrow-straight. The grass should be a young, tender green when the trees bloom, pink and white.

Looking along the line of tree trunks confirms that every tree is where it should be.
Looking along the line of tree trunks confirms that every tree is where it should be. Hooray!

 

But first we’ll enjoy another winter, with snow piled high outside and fires roaring inside. There will be books to read and dreams to dream.

And finally, spring will come.

The Straight and (not very) Narrow

November 1st, 2017 | 23 Comments »
These crabapple trees in front of my daughter's house are Malus 'Dolgo.'
  When is a straight path not straight enough? When is it too narrow? Last March, I decided to transform an unused farm field into something spectacular by lining the path that ran through it  with crabapple trees. When the ground was barely thawed, I paced out the length to determine how many trees to order.   [caption id="attachment_5771" align="aligncenter" width="5169"] This path was a convenient short cut across a flat farm field.[/caption]   I was taken aback. We needed 100 trees, 50 each side, planted at 18 foot intervals. The number made me

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