Saturday, April 10, 2010

Planting Decisions - More Fruit Trees, and Front Yard

My 12 little fruit trees have been an absolute delight to me, so I am scheming this year to plant some more.

Look at these wonderful cherry blossoms - with all those flowers, I'm sure to get some cherries this year!
The photo above shows my Rainier (yellow) Cherry tree, with my Fuju Persimmon (underplanted by daffodils) behind it on the right, and my Lapin (dark) Cherry in the distance (near the center of the photo).

After we bought the Frost Peach last year, I seem to recall it had only had 1 blossom.  This year it is sprinkled with pretty pink blossoms.
The Italian Plum surprised me with quite a lot of very tasty fruit last year, and this year it is even more full of blossoms.  I hope there are enough pollinators to go around, at this time of year!
In addition to these, I have 3 espalier trees, each one bearing 3 varieties of fruit : 3-apple espalier, 3-asian pear espalier, and a 3-european pear espalier. Then there is a Montmorency sour cherry, and a Japanese Plum which we removed during the garden reno since it has been sickly for a few years now, cut off its branches and stuck it beyond the fence, but I see that it is trying to regrow, and has even a few blossoms.

I am so pleased with the fruit trees, that this week, as I wandered about the yard, I picked out two more spots which could be appropriate for more fruit trees. It is now just a matter of deciding which types. I'm inclined toward another apple or pear or plum or cherry. Any suggestions?  What would you plant?

I have placed some stakes where I'm thinking of putting the two trees, so I can walk about and see how that works, before digging the holes. I've drawn in the future trees in orange, in the photo below.
You're probably wondering about the trees drawn in purple, standing on 3 sides of the chess board... I am toying with the idea of trying my hand at arborsculpture or tree shaping, as skillfully demonstrated by Peter Cook and Becky Northey, using their "Pooktre" methods to produce whimsical tree people such as these:
It may take some 10 years to create people trees such as these, but that's why I need to get started sooner rather than later. I'm inclined toward apple trees and plum trees for these, and fruit bearing. I think that would look really cool. Happily, my husband also agreed to the concept, as long as I didn't place the trees too close to the chess board. I will be moving the upper one away by about a foot, to allow for a bench there eventually - there is a beautiful view of Burnaby Lake from there, so it is just a matter of time before we set up a bench, and with the tree standing behind it, I think that would look perfect.

The other planting decision I have, it what to add to my front yard. It's funny, I really don't spend much time at all planning or working the front gardens, which are the most visible. So last Spring, after our harsh Winter, I noticed that our two Choisya ternata "Sundance" bushes were pretty hard hit. I cut them back aggressively, and they sent out new growth, but they never really looked good. And previous years, they have grown too leggy, and I have not succeeded in pruning them to look compact and balanced. Finally this Spring, one of them looked pretty dead. So I used the opportunity today to hack them both down. I noticed that two of the branches I pruned last year & stuck into the ground have rooted and are now small bushes, but I think I will relocate and use them elsewhere.

I want to find something to plant there instead, which will provide a nice backdrop to the garden, but not completely block the beautiful granite work, which I also enjoy. Here are some photos of the spot.
The bare bush in the center is a Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon), the large green one on the right a Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush).

I was wondering about some large ferns... It is a NorthWest facing location, so gets evening sun, but is in shade most of the day. Any suggestions for me?

I suppose the spots don't really look bad, even as is, but I prefer a more fully planted (bordering on overgrown) look.


Anonymous said...

a fig tree!! either purple or green, they are SO DELICIOUS. saw some at mandeville the other week

Kate said...

What a fab idea! Every garden needs a people a tree. :))

Garden Lily said...

Hmmm, I had wanted a fig, but ran out of room next to the house - I hadn't considered one out in the open in the yard. I'll need to give it another consideration - thanks.

Kate - Yes, I think we should all have people trees. Even if it takes 10 years to form them.

tina said...

Good morning! Those espaliered fruit trees are awesome! I can only imagine how long and how much work it would take to make a person from one. I hope you do it and let us know how to do it. I'd suggest another apple. You can't have too many of them. Can't help you on the front porch. Ferns sound good. Even hellebores. The granite is pretty I'd want to show it too. Ah, I see someone said a fig tree. That'd be cool too.

Beth Niquette said...

This is wonderful! I love the idea you have for your fruit trees. Fabulous!

Garden Lily said...

They're not worthy of another photo yet, but I've planted a row of sunflowers against the granite. If I like the effect, I can repeat it in future years. I also have a clump of Crocosmia Lucifer on one side which will add some bright red. I think it will be a nice effect.

Sundi and Mike Pace said...

I hate sunflowers (sorry, I'm from Utah so they grow as weeds here). I would do hollyhocks. They are easy to grow and wouldn't cover that granite work :)

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