Berceau, Charming Garden Element
Berceau, Romantic Garden Element
A berceau, or arbour, is a overgrown garden path. On either side of the walkway trees or bushes are planted, which are connected to one another above the path. A berceau can be overgrown with evergreens and / or flowering plants of many varieties. Espaliered trees are also possible.
Different kinds of berceaus
A wooden or metal frame supports the berceau. Some also consider two rows of trees, the crowns of which overlap each other as a “berceau”, without using a load-bearing structure. This variety of berceau is also called tree or shade tree canopy.
The plants of a berceau can have an open or completely shut growth habit.
A berceau is a spatial 3D element in the garden, which creates air and space.
- Hedge berceaus are very suitable for a closed growth habit. It gives a cool, shady space in summer. A fully closed hedge berceau is so dark on the inside that there hardly grow any leaves. A more open tunnel hedge is to create by “window openings” in the hedge or to put the tunnel arches separate of eachother.
- Berceaus with espalliered fruit trees are only suitable for an open growth habit. The sunlight must properly illuminate the plants both inside and out to get flavorful fruits and avoid bare wood. The wind has to blow freely through the foliage, so that the leaf, after rain, soon dries and fungal diseases can be prevented.
Plants for a Berceau
The look appearance of a berceau strongly depends on the plants. A fresh green hedge berceau has a powerful, timeless look. A rose or fruit berceau has a more romantic, nostalgic look.
When putting plants against the berceau, it is better to plant one, two or more different cultivars. The use of one cultivar looks more uniform and therefore cleaner and is the easiest to maintain. Yet there are situations where you want to plant two or more cultivars:
Voor fruit berceaus you can better use two cultivars, for the sake of pollination . Choose cultivars which are suitable to pollinate eachother. Pay attention to whether they have a similar growth habit; that looks uniform and neater.
Tabel 1: plants for a hedge berceau (tunnel hedge or green vault).
Een hedge berceau or tunnel hedge looks like a green tunnel. The most popular are small leaved tunnel hedges of the Fagus sylvatica en Tilia cordata.
Tabel 2: plants for a flowering berceau. Plant combinations are also possible. A Rose with a Clematis is a classic example.
A flowering berceau is a eye-catcher in the garden.
The same goes for the fruit berceau which blossems in early spring, but the flowering period is very brief (only a few weeks).
Tabel 3: Plants for a fruit berceau.
A fruit berceau is possible with different variaties of fruit. Apple and Pear are the most common, but also grapes, plums and citrus are possible. A Pear is easier to train than an apple. The training of espalliered fruit trees takes knowledge and craftmanship.
A fruit berceau has a romantic appearance during the flowering period.
Examples of Berceaus
Een fruitberceau van espalliered pears (6 cultivars) across 550 meters. The longest berceau of the Netherlands.
Location: Perenlaantje 3344 HA Hendrik Ido Ambacht walk away from the houses and cross the Vrouwgelenweg).
Entrance fee: free.
A hedge berceau of 573 meters with 4700 hornbeams from 1885. De longest berceau of Europe.
Location: 4910 La Reid (Theux), tussen Chemin de Quarreux en Rue Hautregard, België.
Entrance fee: free, from sunrise to sunset.
Circular berceau of hornbeam from 1626 in a walled city garden.
Location: Turfsingel 41, 9712 KJ Groningen
Entrance fee: free, from sunrise to sunset.
A berceau of trees, without a frame, is also called a tree canopy or a shade canopy.
Location: Estate Mariëndaal, Arnhem / Oosterbeek
Entrance fee: Free, from sunrise to sunset.
A berceau from separate vault arches with beech.
Location: Stationsweg 166A, 2161AM Lisse, voor Oranje Nassau gebouw.
Entrance: zie De Keukenhof; only open in spring.
A natural berceau of beech whose treetops are braided together.
Location: Hoofdweg 266, 9765 CM Paterswolde.
Entrance: Free, from sunrise to sunset.
A berceau of hornbeams with imposing wooden beams.
Locatie: Koninklijk Park 1, 7315 JA Apeldoorn
Toegang: zie website Paleis Het Loo.
Three-dimensional garden elements:
- Rose arch
The proportions of a berceau are on the one hand determined by visually pleasing proportions and on the other by the plants (species and cultivar).
With fruit berceaus with espalliered trees leibomen the selected dimensions of the berceau highly depend on:
- type of espalier
- cultivar (properties)
The Delft can give you advise on construction and planting when building a berceau . We also have experiencewith training and pruning of espaliered fruit trees.
Lees ook: Berceau Het Perenlaantje