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What to plant?

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:00 pm
by Kristin
It's been very warm in Southern Ontario (well, until this week at least) and it has tricked all my flowers into coming up. Most of them I think can deal with the recent cooling of temperature again (Crocus, Daffodils, Tulips, etc.) but it's certainly sparked my itch to get outside and start planting.

I bought this house recently and have been slowly try since last summer to get some flowers/trees etc planted (there was nothing here really). So I planted alot of bulbs in the fall and am going to plant white and purple Gladiolus along my back fence. I was wondering what you guys think I should plant in between them as it's quite a long fence. Something leafy? Or another flowers? Any ideas?

Also, I have extremely clay heavy soil and so I have been looking up trees to plant in my backyard that will hopefully thrive in that type of soil and was thinking about planting a Hawthorn tree. Anyone have any experience with these? And should I be planting them soon? I read that you should plant them after last frost but before the trees start to bud. Well all the trees around here began to bud last week because it was so warm, but this week we are still getting when is the appropriate time to plant trees?

I hope the weather warms up next week and stays that way!

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:22 pm
by applestar
If the daffodils are blooming and tulips too, then your ground should be thawed and dry enough to dig in. So this is a good time to plant new trees and shrubs.

I have a hawthorn that actually is struggling, but it may not be only the soil that's at issue. It leafs out and flowers beautifully, then the leaves shrivel up and die during the summer, but comes back in the fall. If it would just die, then I would replace it, but it keeps coming back and flowering in spring. :roll: So can't quite bring myself to chop it down. :wink:

Other trees and some large shrubs I could suggest are:

Amelanchier spp. --Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian Serviceberry), Amelanchier arborea (Downy Serviceberry), Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny Serviceberry). There are also cultivars selected for larger or tastier fruits.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud). There are also cultivars selected for leaf and flower colors as well as weeping variety.

Diospyros virginiana (native Persimmon)

Ilex verticillata -- Winterberry and Ilex gabra -- Inkberry

Lindera benzoin (Spice bush)

Vibernum spp. -- SO MANY species! They're mostly shrubs but some can be grown like small trees. I have V. dentatum but V. nudum is also a good choice and V. prunifolium

I'm thinking of a couple more but can't remember their names right now :oops:

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:50 pm
by cynthia_h
Are you in a neighborhood where it's comfortable to walk around and look at other people's gardens? If so, see what has been planted and take notes on what you like. If you don't know the names, take photos (be sure and let the residents know that you're a new neighbor looking for planting ideas!) and show the photos to the staff at a local, independent garden-supply store.

The staff will also have great suggestions for bulbs, shrubs, etc.

I recommend independent stores because the staff actually are gardeners, the stores *want* your business, and they like seeing you come in. You're not an imposition on their cell-phone conversation, and they want to see "their" plants do well. They're not just selling widgets.

Hope you find lots of successful plants! :D

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Posted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 5:14 pm
by Kristin
thanks for responding! I'll definitly look into those suggestions.

And yes I prefer one of our local indepdant greenhouses because they know what they are talking about and with chains, you just know better than to even bother asking them for advice :P It's been raining all weekend and Im flying to visit family for Easter, but i think I will go and pick out a new tree the weekend following Easter and have it put in.

I'll have to make sure to take some pictures of my tree outfront when it flowers this year because I'm not entirely sure what it is. A dogwood perhaps? it flowers beautifully in the spring with huge pink follows, but it's not a cherry blossom or a magnolia. So I'm leaning towards dogwood.

I've also go some morning glory seeds I'm going to plant on these metal rods i've got in my front yard. That definity sounds like a good weekend! Can't wait, and all the birds are showing up at my new bird feeder. Was taking pictures of the pair of Cardinals I've got here. I'm so glad spring is finally upon us.