Monday, May 13, 2013

Life in a Canadian prairie garden...plant, bush and tree suggestions

Hot, windy and dry...that's typical for us.  Here on the Canadian prairie, we've gone straight from winter to summer.  I think we had spring, but I must have blinked.

Last weekend was our first real chance to get out in the garden.  It's a wild place...voles, deer, porcupine, bush bunnies.  And we live in the middle of a city!!  

Flowering Almond
To live in our garden, a plant needs to be tough, able to fend off wildlife and willing to accept a certain amount of neglect that comes with living in a garden owned by two busy people.

Right now our Flowering Almonds are showing off.  The blooms come first before they leaf out. These bushes grow quickly to about 6-8 feet high but can be trimmed back to either a small bush or turned into a wild hedge along a fence line.   A neighbour planted some around his fence line over 25 years ago and they still look great.  

Dwarf Korean Lilac, Spirea and Day Lilies
Next month our Dwarf Korean Lilacs will shine.  This picture is from a couple of years ago.  The variety we have has very tiny leaves and delicate flowers that don't look messy like a regular lilac.  The three lilacs here have been allowed to grow and seem to have reached their maximum size of about 8 feet high by 8 feet wide.  We have another one in a planter that has been trimmed into a round ball - totally different effect, but equally nice.

Did you notice the Day Lilies in front of the lilacs?  I love the contrast their leaves provide and enjoy the flowers during the summer.  They get going early, fill in quickly and are easy to separate and move around to other parts of the garden.

Bleeding Hearts
Bleeding Hearts are another personal favourite.  We have both pink and white.  With so much shade in our garden now, they do very well.  They seem to pop up everywhere, but they transplant easily and don't need any attention.

What will we add to our garden this year?  Our local garden centre had three good suggestions!

1.  Muckle Plum:  blooms early (pink blossoms), hardy, rarely needs pruning and grows to about 12-15 feet.

2.  Spring Snow Ornamental Crabapple:  fast growing with white blooms but no apples!  (That's a bonus - we have a crabapple already that leaves a real mess all over our patio!)

3.  Robin Hill Serviceberry: pretty white blooms with fruit in July.

Happy Planting!

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