Monday, May 21, 2007

At Your Service

Good garden help is hard to find. Luckily, I've got my almost four-year old to lend a hand. We spent a fabulous Victoria Day Sunday together walking to the garden centre, picking out a tree and some garden accessories, dragging them all home in her wagon, and then placing said purchases in the garden. Of course, my daughter was more interested in making mud pies and squishing them in her toes than in any actual planting activity. Even though our interests in the garden differ, they are compatible.

The big purchase of the day was a serviceberry. I'm very excited about it. It's my attempt to introduce some native Ontario plants to the garden, attain some shade and height, and attract some wildlife in the process.

My purchase came too late to experience the flower show the serviceberry delivers in spring. It produces white blooms in April before the leaves appear. I'm already looking forward to next year. Right now, the berries have already formed. If I'm lucky and the birds don't get to all of them, I might even try my hand at making some jam or pie once the fruit is ripe. Come fall, the serviceberry provides yellow to yellow-red foliage that promises to look spectacular against the backdrop of the yew. As a bonus, my husband really likes its funky shape.

All of these plant details are lost on my daughter who is nevertheless fascinated by berries, and birds, and dirt. When I look out at the serviceberry years from now as it towers above the garden, I'll remember what a wonderful day we had planting it -- especially washing the mud from between our toes.

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