The Heart in the Garden
March 3, 2017
The Linden tree makes a beautiful addition to the garden if you have enough room for it. It can achieve heights of 50' to 80' with a horizontal spread of 35' to 50', although it frequently stays smaller. It generally grows between 13” and 24” inches a year, depending on conditions. This beautiful specimen is 700 years old and is the National Tree of Slovenia.
It's hardy in Zones 3 through 8 and is a very adaptable tree. It prefers full sun to part shade and is drought tolerant once established. This site has excellent information on how to get a linden established in your garden.
It has a very pretty pyramidal shape, the classic “tree” shape, when it's young. It gets a bit rangier with age. It offers warm yellow-to-gold foliage in the Fall, creating a bright spot in the garden.
The sound of insects is the sound of summer for me. Being a beekeeper in previous years, my heart warms to the sound of happy bees. I can imagine few things more relaxing than to enjoy a cold drink (perhaps linden tea?), drinking in the aroma of the flowers and listening to the chorus of thousands of bees going about their gathering.
Imagine this walkway to your gazebo. It needn't be this grand. Two trees on either side of the walk would suffice.
You could add a couple of beds along the walk and fill them with the plant suggestions found in this free Permaculture e-book for good companions for the lindens.
It offers a nice plan for a round bed incorporating a linden as the center of the design. Look on page 13 for the “Bee Guild”.
As always, I recommend my favorite place for just about any planter's desire, Fedco Seed Co., as a good place to order your tree from.
If you're a bit more adventurous and have a great deal of patience (linden seeds can take up to five years to germinate) you can try starting your own from seed.
Here's a bit of good advice on what to avoid.
If you're willing to prune, linden can also make a good hedge to delineate garden “rooms” or hide an unwelcome sight. I wonder how those delicate leaves would look cheerily waving at you from a windbreak hedgerow?
Its branches will bend to the ground and take root where they touch, creating a “grove” of a single tree. Once your tree's branches will reach the ground, you can pin them down in a design of your choosing to create your own private retreat space.
Well, there you have it. A beautiful addition to the garden which touches all five senses. And by drawing all those pollinators to your garden, not only will it grace the garden in its own right but every other plant there will benefit by its presence. Can you ask for more?
Did I forget anything? Have you ever found the bee tree that I've been looking for? Tell me about it in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!
Tomorrow I'll see what's sweet in the kitchen.