Monday, May 31, 2010

It's So Hard to Garden Here...

We're on the Canadian Prairies, Zone 2B officially. We like to think of ourselves as Zone 3 - it makes us feel slightly better. Farmer Man and I moved here from Vancouver, BC, Zone 8, where you can hardly kill anything unless you let it drown over the rainy winter. So, gardening here in Brandon has been full of disappointments and frustrations. Things die for no apparent reason (well, I can often deduce reasons, but it doesn't make me feel any better!) Pictured is my Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa), a Zone 4 plant (OK, OK, it was always a risk), which has been thriving in a sheltered spot for four years. This year: all dead except for a little branch at the very bottom that has leafed out. It doesn't show too well in the photo, but behind it is an Amur Cherry tree, quite hardy, in the ground five years and doing well. This spring, one of the three main branches is dead and gone. As well, I have extensive die back on hardy roses, spirea and barberry. I've given them all plenty of time, so now it's down to the pruning and the pulling out. It's soooooooo hard to be a Prairie gardener!


  1. I think the main problems were cold in December with no snow, and then warm in March followed by a really cold spell. Just too much for some of my poor plants to handle.....

  2. Rosie: you're gardening in Scotland you lucky girl! We have winters with lows of -35 C and deep snow, summers of +35 C, always with wind, wind, wind. It's soooo hard sometimes!