This is a different type of list from that described in my last post. In this case the list covers the six elements that form the basis of a new garden with suggestions of suitable plants for each category. These comprise shade trees, evergreens, climbers, flowering shrubs, perennials and groundcovers. The article is by Stephen Westcott-Gratton and I found it over on the Canadian Gardening Magazine website.
As they survey their landscape, new homeowners often find themselves staring at a blank canvas: Dab hands tend to look on this as an opportunity, but for novice gardeners, the prospect can be daunting. Either way, the first order of business will be to evaluate your soil; if you?re in a new subdivision, it will almost certainly need improving before you begin planting. To get your new garden off to a great start, we?ve put together a list of plants covering the six major categories: shade trees, evergreens, climbers, flowering shrubs, perennials and groundcovers (they should be planted in that order). We think each one represents the best in its class: For example, the woody plants add ?bones? to the garden, while flowering perennials embellish the gaps. We?re assuming a full sun site but have also included options for shady gardens.
1 SHADE TREE
‘AUTUMN GOLD’ GINKO (GINKGO BILOBA ‘AUTUMN GOLD’)
Presented with a clean slate, your first job should be to choose a suitable shade tree. To ensure a cool oasis that?s protected from the blazing afternoon sun, site your new tree on the south or west side of your deck or patio (it will also help to keep your house cooler). Until ginkgos were discovered growing in Asia in 1690, they were known only from their 250-million-year-old fossil remains. ?Autumn Gold? is a male clone that grows 15 metres tall by 10 metres wide with an upright habit and bright gold autumn foliage. Introduced in California in 1955, it?s pest-free, pollution tolerant and adapts well to most soil types; Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit, 2012. Zone 4
STRIPED MAPLE (Acer pensylvanicum)
NORTH POLE EASTERN WHITE CEDAR (THUJA OCCIDENTALIS ‘ART BOE’)
Evergreens maintain a year-round presence in the garden, so give careful consideration before positioning them in your new landscape. They?re often planted in threes, with one tall, columnar specimen and two lower-growing types, usually with contrasting foliage. North Pole has dark green foliage that doesn?t burn in winter and an upright, narrowly conical habit. Perhaps the thinnest and tallest cedar cultivar, it grows 15 metres high by 50 centimetres wide and rarely requires pruning. Surrounding it with a low, mounding golden falsecypress and a blue juniper will ensure reliable winter
colour. An open-pollinated selection of ?Wintergreen?, it was discovered by Arthur Boe (Minnesota) and introduced in 2011. Zone 3
CAPTAIN JAPANESE YEW (Taxus cuspidata ‘Fastigiata’)