|Our garden consist of different segments on several axes connected by walkways that lead to odd little characters and spaces. The entire garden is separated and framed by strange and wonderful fences.|
|The Pear Tunnel
Years ago, when dreaming of creating this wonderful garden, I came across a lovely photo of a tunnel of apple trees while researching the pruning & training of trees and shrubs. Totally enchanted with the concept, I created my tunnel with six pear trees, three different varieties of pears. My first frame was constructed of 1/2" PVC pipe. In the beginning everyone laughed at the idea...a tunnel of pear trees?! But after about 6 years it became obvious (and much to my surprise) that we were creating a viable if not spectacular garden feature. About that time I hosted at my home the keynote speaker for the Michigan Master Garden Conference. Gwyn Perry, the head garden of Heale House in England was shocked to walked out onto our back deck and see my attempt at a tunnel of fruit trees. As it turns out the original photo that inspired me was of the apple tunnel of Heal House! So I was fortunate enough to have the master of the tunnel give me an impromptu critic. This year I finally had my original frame replaced with a steel structure. The under plantings of the pear tunnel are similar to the Heale House gardens but my model for the spring/summer/fall underplanting was the Lime Walk of Sr. Harold Nicholson in the gardens of Vita Sackville-West at Sissinghurst.
Besides looking beautiful, the tress are quite productive, especially the delicious Seckel pears. One year I had enough to supply Tapawingo for a season of pear sorbet.
|1992...2nd year.||2004...Collapse of the pvc frame.|
|Laying the plan for the new steel frame||Art Brown of Torch Tip Ironworks MIG welding the frame|
|1996...Training the Pears.
Peak summer under plantings of moonbeam correopsis, scabiosa, marigolds & alyssum.
|Peak summer season:
Scabiosa, grown from seed
|Spring underplantings: Thalias following minnows daffodils.||
The first flowering...crocuses followed by Kafmaniana tulip species & anemones
For seven years we had dreamed and planned this greenhouse. Our first summer up north we went garage sale hunting and came across these incredible storm windows from the grandest Victorian home in Central Lake. Turns out the frames are made of redwood. The glass has take wonderful irregular look, however the caulk is also over 100 years-old and it's extremely difficult to remove when replacing a pane of glass. How did it break? Well..we won't go there! We first stored the windows in the basement, moving them three times. After we built the garage we carted them out there. We finally started constructing the greenhouse the second week of September 1997 and finished on the winter solstice. Fortunately it was a long Indian summer. When it was framed to the point we could start installing the windows I refused to stop until it was dark, the deer wondering what we were doing there during their grazing time. Clyde finally pulled me into the house. I guess you could say I was a little happy to get those babies out of the garage!
The greenhouse is a 8'x16' pole bldg. with a crushed stone floor. The roof is GlasSteel and vented.
Cost: $1,200, two smashed fingers, a banged head (Suzanne's) and a strained knee (Clyde's). We have since added an outside planting area complete with sink, nursery area all of which is covered with that indispensible overhead UV-filter shade cloth.
|From the lower terrace garden looking up into the nursery.||Planting area, waist high to eliminate stoop, complete with sink and a poodle in the lower right hand corner|
|My viola plants waiting to be transplanted out. I germinate them from seed in the basement.|
One of the many natural enemies here in the northland are the deer. "How do you keep the deer out?" is the most commonly asked question. Simple, you build a 9 foot tall fence, in an imaginative way and cover it with flowers! Of course the deer skulls add a pagan flavor that keeps the hunters away as well.
|The Apple Fence
My idea for this folly originated after a visit to Mt. Vernon when I saw George W's low fence of espalier dwarf apple trees. I used dwarf root-stock on Gala apples. At first I thought the frame was over-kill, but not after having my pear PVC tunnel collapse!
The walkways are as varied as the different gardens: crushed stone, bark mulch, weed-proof plastic ground cloth, wooden slats and Clyde's favorite Petoskey stones.
|The Rock Wall
When we had the excavation done for the lower terrace we faced a major dilemma, a 250 ft. long, 7 ft. high cliff! Clyde scavanged many rocks from our glacial terrain and began building a wall with two terrace/steps built-in. Working on a very tight budget I grew all plants on the wall from seed: lavenders, helianthemums, saponaria, crimson forget-me-nots, potentillas, campanulas, numerous thymes and some rather exotic perennial seed that I imported from England. The shrubs were tortured specimens all bought off the K-mart parking lot where they were frying in the August sun and nurseried for two years. It's amazing to a little foster care can do. I think the wall is an incredible piece of engineering that Clyde constructed by hand. After that back breaking work, decorating with plants grown from seeds was an easy job.