I should’ve known better than to think 70 degree days, two in a row as a matter of fact, would be here to stay. It’s April! Just that brief taste was enough to get those garden muscles flexing. That and an early rose delivery for which I was completely unprepared. It seems that this pandemic has thrown everything off, including the shipment of roses that were expected to arrive in late April but found there way to my front porch three days ago. First world problems, I know. But a problem nonetheless when your beds aren’t ready.
So I panicked. Which is more of an audible experience for family and neighbors who can hear my tools being tossed into the wagon as I talk to myself, verbally working through what has to be done right now before the winter weather returns in two days, as it inevitably has.
The arrival of the roses forced a chain reaction that involved the removal of plants from a holding area sooner than planned to relocate them elsewhere, before planting one of the roses in the space. The holding area contained several shrubs I bought for a song at the end of the season last year (because how can you not do this?) and planted them in the small empty bed where they overwintered. One of the plants was a small container grown Standing Ovation serviceberry tree, Amelanchier alnifolia ‘Obelisk.’
I have very narrow beds in the backyard so plants that have a growth habit for tight spaces like this serviceberry are ideal. The fact that it flowers, produces berries favored by one of my favorite birds, the cedar waxwing, and turns a firey orange color in fall makes it that much more appealing. I have another serviceberry, Autumn Brilliance, on the other side of the yard almost directly across from where this new one was planted. Prior to the arrival of the roses, I had already marked out the bed with spray paint for landscape use.
At 3-4 feet wide at maturity, I erred on the side of caution and planted it two feet from the fence instead of a foot and a half. Plants always seem to grow on the bigger side for me so I wanted to be sure I allowed for that. It’s going to take some time for this tree to reach maturity, but when it does at 12-15 feet tall it should be lovely in combination with the borrowed view from my neighbor’s yard, a blue spruce, and the royal purple smokebush I planted last summer. A little bird told me the neighbor’s thinking about cutting down the spruce and, in the off chance that this neighbor is reading this, I’m begging him not to. Approximately 10 years old, the spruce is totally healthy and gorgeous with no signs of cytospora canker. And most importantly, it’s a major player in my garden vision!!!
What are you adding to your garden this spring?