Although officially spring, winter is still very present here in Southern Ontario. Looking out our windows we’re seeing bare branches, slightly yellowed evergreen leaves, towering coniferous trees with some cones still clinging to weather-beaten branches and in some cases, flattened browned lawns covered in thin layers of ice and snow.
However, we can use this time to take stock of our views. Look out your front window. What do you see? Look out your kitchen window. What do you see? These are the views that make up half of our year. Without the leaves, blooms and berries of summer and fall. We want these views to be equally beautiful in their own way. Perhaps we want them to frame pretty features, block eyesores or invite visitors from nature. We can achieve all of these things with the main building blocks of our gardens; namely, trees and shrubs.
Trees and shrubs create a framework for the rest of our garden throughout the other seasons, offer winter interest and habitats for wildlife. Without these, our gardens and properties would be lacking.
Here are a list of our favourites over here at Sunflower Gardens. Spring is the perfect time to plant in order for the roots to be fully established by next winter.
Pine (Pinus sp.) The vast varieties of Pines that can be grown in our region can serve any requirement. Evergreen conifers - Pines can be the tiniest of bonsai plants to the tallest of trees. They add a sculptural quality to the garden and lend themselves well to Japanese style gardens, picturesque northern climate gardens and sandy rock gardens alike.
Shrub Rose (Rosa sp.) - Shrub roses are actually quite hardy. They will often re-bloom right up until a heavy frost (depending on variety) and will charm us with their roaming form and colourful rosehips through the winter months. However, you’ll have to try and harvest some of your own rosehips for tea before the birds get to them all!