The Prescott Journal - December 18, 2002
By Astrid Strader, Project Supervisor, Horticulturist, and Garden Designer
My gardening-buddy, Mike, lent me a book a while ago. Ever since I started reading it a few days ago, I haven't been able to put it down. Written by what I think is one of Canada's best garden writers, Marjorie Harris, it is funny, uplifting and mostly, very informative.
So that Prescott Blossoms doesn't loose the gardening momentum, we will delve into this book called Ecological Gardening, updated and published by Random House of Canada, 1996. Near the end, she tells of her own neighbourhood rise to more conscious gardening. Interested people met and organized to get more trees planted on streets.
Prescott needs more trees; hardly any new trees have been planted on the streets or in the parks in a long while. There is town support for planting trees and we will be attempting to get a few in before January, but it's not enough. Good planning with a knowledgeable team (there are many more lovely trees and shrubs available to choose from) and lots of neighbourhood interest can turn forgotten spaces into something inviting and beneficial. I invite you to include these spaces when daydreaming of spring and warmer days.
With every snowy drizzle and accumulation I smile. People curse the dreaded winter weather like a recording but I celebrate the precipitation. It's just one of the reasons why it's good to plant potted trees in the fall - they get lots of moisture and settling in time before growth starts. And also, with the snow, comes a silence that's restful and breathtakingly sparkling on those clear and sunny days, with the promise of rebirth just lying around the corner.
I see our community reflected in the 'community' of trees which are shaping the Prescott Heritage River Trail - many shapes, sizes and personalities - all contributing to a wonderfully rich landscape. We give thanks to our great community, which has spirited this project onwards. The Town of Prescott, Parks Canada, and Prescott Blossoms appreciates all the many anonymous supporters who have given towards the project.
There will be shrub beds in amongst the trees, and with a $100 donation, a grouping of two to three shrubs can be 'adopted'. One of these shrubs is commonly known as Black Chokecherry (Aronia melanocarpa). This native shrub does well in any type of soil and looks great street-side and in garden borders for shape and colour interest. The 2 m (six-foot) high arching slender branches make a pleasing vase shape. The flowers grow in clusters of 9-20 small white flowers of which the outer ones open first. The fleshy fruit develops in late June and are red wine to purplish black in colour. The fall leaves turn a brilliant red. The fruit is rich in pectin and can therefore, be added to fruits that have little, to set jams and jellies. Birds love the fully ripe fruit after a frost, which sweetens them up. You can call Melanie at 925-2812 for more information on adopting shrubs.
In particular, donors of trees: Leo Boivin, Brian and Dorothy Seeley, Robert Strader, Ray Mason Cornerstone Builders, Prescott Public Library, Oasis Institute for Healthy Living Inc. These are just a few and over the coming weeks I will get the chance to name them all.