Saturday, May 12, 2007

Seize the moment: Serviceberries in bloom

May is a crazy month: everywhere I look, there are jobs to do. Divide this perennial, remove that shrub, replace that dead tree, weed, mulch, water (it's been dry very early), mow, plant, and weed once again.

That leaves precious little time for photography. Of course, the spring problem is that if you don't get that shot now, you'll miss it, and it won't come around again for a year. "Seize the moment" is the operative principle. So I'm glad that I set everything aside one evening last week to get a picture of my line of 10 serviceberry shrubs (Amelanchier canadensis) in full bloom.

We planted these shrubs as small bare-root plants about seven years ago, and with annual pruning and shaping, they've matured into beautiful multi-stemmed specimens.

It's been several days since I took these pictures, and the flowers are already fading, which means berries are on the way. Next month, I'll be competing with the birds for a taste. I try to harvest at least couple of cups worth of berries to enjoy with plain yogurt – what a yummy treat from the garden!

Out west, a serviceberry cultivar they call Saskatoonberry produces much bigger fruits, which make great pies. In the past year or so, I've seen these offered in Ontario markets for the first time.


  1. Great the plant sale there would be no stopping me. Love all you pics it's nice to see the different varieties that grow over the pond.

  2. Hello Yvonne. I love your serviceberries. I'm thinking of planting one in my backyard in Toronto but worry that it won't get enough sunlight. Do you know if serviceberries enjoy partial shade and soil that is consistently moist but not soggy? Love the blog by the way and will be adding you to my list of links.

  3. Hi Irena: I think serviceberry should do fine for you. My landscape manual of woody plants says this: transplant into moist, well-drained soil; will tolerate full sun or partial shade. As long as the soil isn't soggy all the time and the shrub gets some sun, it should grow for you.

    Thanks for you comment! Cheers, Yvonne


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