Blog

Plant of the Week

Peony

Hardiness Zone:2
Sunlight:Full sun
Height:75–120cm
Spread:40–60cm

Description

Peonies are sun-loving, fragrant perennials which are extremely hardy and easy to grow and maintain. They are deer resistant and blooms can last 4-5 weeks. Peonies will give you exotic flowers in the spring and lush foliage for the entire summer.

Pruning/Dividing

It is best to prune your peonies to the ground in late fall. Peonies can be left undisturbed and may live up to 50 years! If you do want to divide your peonies, do it in September and keep in mind that it can take at least four years to bloom again! When transplanting, make sure you position tubers 1-2 inches deep, as they are very sensitive to planting depth.

Plant of the Week

Northern Gold Forsythia

Hardiness Zone:2–3
Sunlight:Full sun to part sun
Height:2m
Spread:1.5m

Description

The Northern Gold Forsythia is a spring time treat, as they burst into outstanding yellow flowers before the leaves even appear. Forsythia's need a sheltered area with good snow cover for successful blooming. Their beautiful dark green foliage creates an attractive summer shrub.

Pruning

Forsythias can grow quite tall, so regular pruning will keep them in check. Crowded shoots should be thinned out from the centre and flowering shoots can be cut back to a strong bud. But remember to prune after they are done flowering.

Get Ready for Spring

While you are waiting for the weather to warm up, there are a few things you can do to prepare your garden for summer.

Finish pruning any dead, diseased or rubbing branches; and do any thinning needed to open tree canopies to more sunlight. Remember to prune birch and maple until after they are in full leaf (July), since they ‘bleed’ from open wounds in the spring. Although the sap that runs out the tree will not harm the tree, it’s more for the aesthetics of the tree.

Wait to prune spring flowering shrubs until after they bloom, otherwise you will be pruning off this years flower buds (e.g. Lilac, Forsythia, white-flowered Spirea, Caragana, Mockorange, etc). Although, shrubs that flower in late summer should be pruned now, late winter/early spring, before leafs appear (e.g. pink-flowered Spirea, Cotoneaster, Barberries, Potentillas, Ninebarks, Hydrangeas, Willows, etc.).

Now is the time to cut back your upright grasses, prior to any new growth. If you wait too late into spring, you will end up cutting the tips of new growth off. Note: do not cut back mounding grasses such as Blue Oat Grass and Blue Fescue, only prune out the old flower stocks.

It is best to wait for your garden to dry out somewhat before working the soil, or even walking through it, to prevent soil compaction.

Other than that, there isn’t much to do except tune up your mowers and sharpen your pruners.

Plant of the Week

Pasqueflower / Prairie Crocus

Hardiness Zone:2
Sunlight:Sun to partial shade
Height:25cm
Spread:40cm

Description

The Pasqueflower has violet purple flowers, with bright yellow centers, that bloom in early spring. They are covered in fine silky hairs, which help insulate the plant during the cold spring. Then the fern like foliage emerges. Once the flowers are spent, they change into attractive fluffy seed heads.

Pasqueflowers do not like to be disturbed and prefer well drained, gravelly, and slightly dry soil.

Pasque is the Old French spelling for ‘Easter’ which is when the flowers are often in bloom.

Plant of the Week

Double Flowering Plum

Hardiness Zone:3a
Sunlight:Full Sun
Height:6 feet
Spread:5 feet

Description:

The Double Flowering Plum is one of our favourite spring time shrubs. The double hot pink flowers completely cover the branches in early spring, leaving an eye-catching fluffy pink cloud of flowers floating in your landscape. It has dark green foliage through out the summer and orange leaves in the fall. It is not particularly the most attractive shrub throughout the majority of the growing season, but the colourful display it puts on in the spring makes it worth using in your landscape.

Pruning:

The Double Flowering Plum flowers on old wood (previous years growth) and should be pruned as soon as flowering is finished. Pruning at any other time of the year will remove the dormant flower buds.