Roof trees – a favourite!

posted in Creating gardens for my clients

Roof trees – a favourite!

I first saw these gorgeous trees in 2010 in Tuscany at the wonderful Vannucci site. I was there with Rob Jones of The Garden Design Co buying trees for a project. We were shown around their vast & splendid site in buggies in scorching sunshine & were completely blown away by what we saw. The photo heading this blog was taken then – note the lovely blue sky.

Jo Alderson Design

Jo Alderson Design

Going to tree nurseries is always a pleasure, even in the pouring rain & hail, as we did very recently in Hampshire. Shortly after I took the photo above the heavens opened & we all got drenched. We found what we needed & much more besides, so it was well worth it. You get to see first hand what could look wonderful in a certain site, or specimens you might not have considered that you store in your memory for future projects. The growers are usually so knowledgable & enthusiastic which is not only helpful but infectious too.

Nursery folk can be really creative & somebody somewhere invented these roof trees also known as parasols & table tops. I love structure & formality so these are pretty much perfect for me. They serve a dual purpose as they provide much needed shade in a garden. I tend to use them in grid format which provides a large amount of shade for sitting or dining beneath in a truly sensational environment. It’s so much nicer to sit beneath cool characterful trees than a large brolly! They don’t blow over or rot over winter like fabric structures are prone to do, but provide an architectural sightline successful in both traditional & contemporary schemes.

The pair of photos above are Plane trees that have been shaped to form a flat square ‘roof’ being planted through a self binding gravel by Mark & Woody of TS Landscapes. These Planes are around 20 years old & have bags of character. I’ve used these as the property is a Georgian Manor house & both my clients & I really wanted them to fit in & appear to have been there forever. I believe they will & shall post some photo’s when it’s done. This may be a while however as it’s quite a large project & torrential rain for weeks on end has caused big delays & vile thick mud!

IMG_2486My drawing above is a design for a classical reflection pool with stone copings, stepping stones & a grid of cherry trees at the end. This will look fabulous year round as the main sightline in the garden. The pool is over 30 metres long & the grid of trees contains 16 mature cherries. They are Prunus Yedoensis which has the palest pink flowers. They are being uplit via inset spotlights so can be walked over without problem. Underground guying means no unsightly stakes & an irrigation system is hidden underground too.

Cherry roof trees for a client selected by Jo Alderson Phillips of Joanne Alderson Design

Cherry roof trees for a client selected by Jo Alderson Phillips of Joanne Alderson Design

Here is Jim Hillier of Hilliers tree nursery with  Tom of TS Landscapes helping me select the cherries for this project. As Tom now has such experience planting in this format for me he is careful to point out a wonky trunk that just won’t do!

IMG_1994I’ve ordered two grids of Mulberry’s for other projects from another nursery I like which are also beautiful. They have really great leaves & of course their fruits. One client particularly wants quirky character so we have selected the wonkiest of trunks for her 🙂

As with topiary & pleached specimens they will all need to be pruned in order to retain their structure which is not too onerous providing you don’t mind climbing a ladder!

Sorry for the dearth of posts this year (NONE!!) but I have just been so snowed under with work. All good –  just no time for much socialising.

Until next time

JO_SIGNATURE

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