Tour The Hornbeam Allee

Tour The Hornbeam Allee

Welcome to the post Tour The Hornbeam Allee. For those of you that are unsure, an allee is a space that is defined by a row of trees on either side. This space is a very popular space at Mezzacello and is sometimes referred to as the Secret Garden.

The Origin of the Secret Garden

When we started building Mezzacello, Rick had a vision for creating a place of beauty, peace, privacy, and cool shade. We determined the best way to do that was to create an allee which runs north south between the Formal Garden Rooms, and the Parterre Gardens, and is bounded by The Pollinator Runway to the south (see map). This part of the garden has some spectacular details!

  1. The Hornbeam Allee is comprised of 32 Hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) that are planted in a Hugelkultur substrate bed
  2. Each Hornbeam was grown from bare root or cuttings
  3. The original allee idea was inspired by the allee at Franklin Park Conservatory‘s The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden
  4. There is an unconfirmed rumor that some of these trees are from cuttings there
  5. The trees create a solid wall of leaves that block 90% of the sound of traffic on Broad Street
  6. The temperature within the Hornbeam Allee is regularly, 12-20 degrees cooler than anywhere else at Mezzacello
  7. The fountain at the south edge of the Hornbeam Allee is called the Narnia Gate Fountain
  8. It’s purpose is to provide ambient sound, provide water to nesting birds and visiting pollinators and serves as a backup water source for various potted plants
  9. The fountain weighs one ton, has its own foundation, and is run from solar power and rainwater
  10. On the East and West axis of the Hornbeam Allee are tow arches that are built into the wall of hornbeams and the hornbeams have grown over the arches
  11. The Hornbeam Allee is 4.8m (16′) tall
  12. The Hornbeam Allee is home to 16 – 20 sets of nesting birds at any given time
  13. The Hornbeam Allee is equipped with backup power systems from the grid and the Photovoltaic and Windpower arrays
  14. There is a sensor stack in the Hornbeam Allee that monitors bird activity, nesting spaces and small mammal and reptile refuges in around and under the line of hornbeams
  15. This sensor stack includes an IR and UV camera
  16. There are five species of decorative flower plantings that are specifically optimized for shade
  17. The length of the Hornbeam Allee is 15.24m (50′) x 4.8m (16′)
  18. This dimension creates two volumes of space that are planned to the golden rectangle as 7.62m x 4.8m is 1:1.618
  19. The two Golden Rectangles represent Beauty and Science
  20. The placement of the Hornbeam Allee here is no accident
  21. The northern edge of the Hornbeam Allee aligns to the two windows of the house on the first and second floors
  22. The Hornbeam Allee serves as a cooling system for the house as it forces gentle winds into the windows of the house and through to the other side to cool the house in summer

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