We still have loads of snow, but the days are getting longer, so perhaps there is hope for spring after all! Nothing can boost our gardening spirits better than to get together with other gardeners and talk about our gardens! We hope you can be at the next meeting of the Yorkton and District Horticultural Society on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sunshine Room at SIGN on North Street. Our guest speaker will be Danielle Barrett from Western Alfalfa Milling in Norquay, telling us everything we need to know about fertilizing with alfalfa pellets. That’s Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.
I was reading about some interesting shrubs, and I wanted to tell you about them. Old episodes of “Victory Garden” with garden guru Roger Swain always talked about a beautiful shrub called “beauty berry”, a lovely shrub that had striking blue berries that would attract birds. I recently read about this shrub, or a close cousin of it, and it was called “Cranberry Blue Muffin”. It is described like this: “This adaptable shrub tolerates a wide range of conditions and soil types and performs well in sun to shade.” It sounds like a great choice because it grows to about five feet high, with a four foot spread. Nice for smaller yards! And with those pretty blue berries, it would certainly be a focal point.
You and I have seen elderberry before, but there is a variety called “Black Lace”, with stunning dark purple leaves. It is described as “an easy growing, durable shrub”. As a bonus, there are also pink flowers over the summer, and they turn into pretty red berries in the fall. This is another shrub that will attract birds to your garden. And it will grow to a height of six feet. Lots of “pretty power” packed into one small shrub!
I have always been intrigued by hydrangeas, but always thought that they were not hardy enough for our climate. In recent years, I’ve seen some beautiful, thriving hydrangeas adorning many yards; and gardeners, if you had been outside when we were strolling by, I would have asked you the name of that beautiful shrub in your yards! But I read about three interesting hydrangeas: one called “Pinky Winky”, another winner coming in at around six feet for a mature shrub. Pinky Winky has pink and white flowers, and as the blooms mature and turn into as darker pink, the next blooms are a delicate white. Sounds breathtaking and is hardy, too!
Then there was the “Vanilla Strawberry” hydrangea, with delicious-looking blooms that begin as white, blush to a delicate pink, then finally turn red! I read that this one flowers on old and new wood, so it sounds like it will give us a show all summer! The final hydrangea that I read about is an improved “Annabelle”, called “Incrediball”. Get ready for a show with this one as blooms start out lime green, then become white, then go back to green again. This one has a mature height of five feet.
For many of us, it seems that space is limited in our yards, so it is important to pack a lot of punch with our plant choices. A pretty shrub can do double-duty if it has interesting foliage or pretty blossoms. You can get the benefits of shrubbery for privacy or landscaping, but also enjoy a seasonal show as well!
Now all we need to do is wait for spring to arrive, to see if we can add one more shrub, or two or three, to our yards!
This is a good time to look at the trees in your yard, because you can clearly see if any branches are rubbing against others and might possibly need to be pruned away in the spring. So take a little tour and check out your winter garden! Have a great week!