In sunny south facing edge of our woodland garden bed we just couldn’t cure the powdery mildew on the Dogwood in this location. None of the usual conditions that cause the disease existed here – like, excessive nitrogen fertilizer, heavy pruning or excessive irrigation. We were confident the fail wasn’t our fault so we had to pull it.
Since it is not recommended to plant a replacement of the same species where persistent problems existed we decided to go with one of our favourites – a downy serviceberry, Amelanchier arborea. We already have 5 mature serviceberry trees so this time we decided on a multi-stem shrub. The shrub is one of the more garden-worthy native plants. It has a mind of its own and this one will likely need pruning as it grows to keep any erraticism in check.
As with our serviceberry trees, the slight scent from the early spring white flowers will compliment the scented Viburnum across the path, attract pollinators, and later on, a bumper crop of berries for the birds to feed on.
Last year we tried to feed on them ourselves but we erred on the harvesting. The crop is always abundant and freezing seems to be what was called for. Our mistake was in washing the berries before freezing. The correct method is to freeze them right after picking. That way the berries remain firm enough to handle and prepare for baking a berry pie.
Location midtown Toronto, well drained, sun 6+hours, zone 5.
Watch the Toronto Master Gardener ‘How To’ video here;