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U of A Devonian Botanical Garden

The Scarboro Garden Scene

U of A Devonian Botanical Garden

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Mild winter, early spring – and their positive and negative consequences

a tree with bananas at the top
a flower that smells like a corpse
a place with geodesic domes
cherry blossoms

The Scarboro Garden Scene
Mild winter, early spring – and their positive and negative consequences
We know we had a mild and short winter, the results of which brought a happy early spring and blooms: it delights many of us as we take in the sweet perfume of the lilac or mayday blossom, and the sight of apple, pear and cherry blossom, the very early double-flowering plum. Not only were there early blossom on trees and shrubs, but perennials such as hepatica (liver leaf), blood root, and annuals such as Iceland poppies.


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Classic Scarboro Garden Design

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Winter Colour in trees

We have a variety of grey coloured deciduous trees and shrubs in our winter, and these form a background to our landscape, but evergreens and other trees provide highlights in our yards and boulevards. Part of the planning process for the upcoming growing season could be to see how to add colour to our winter views.

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Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, Olmsted, and Scarboro

 Dawyck-House,Scotland,Brownstyle

Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was baptised three hundred years ago this August. As a young man working in large gardens he discarded the idea of arranging beds formally - as exemplified in Versailles - and favoured the integration of garden and countryside, regressing from more controlled gardens near the grand houses, to more rural character further away.

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Spring arrivals

a white flower with three main petals
a ladybug on a branch
a 'coto-nea-ster' branch with issues

Moisture and warm temperatures allow our early plants to emerge (5o C is the typical start for growth for many plants), but it is the soil temperature at root level that is critical for spring revival. With plants that do not have chive-like leaves, (monocots) differentiating the good guys from the bad guys can be difficult at this stage as the first leaves on many broad leaved plants (dicots) are different from the later leaves. It is worthwhile to protect one, and remove the other.

Climate changes in Calgary: gardening in Zone 4a

planter, hellebores, and a slug

Based on climate data collected from 1981 to 2010, most of Calgary now lies in the warmer plant hardiness zone 4a. This means we can be more adventurous in our plant selection: at first this sounds like heaven - but not quite. Tree budburst dates are earlier, but the dates of late frosts have not changed so much, so fruit tree blossom will suffer more from late frosts. There are two different methods to identify what zone we garden in. The simplest is that published by the U.S.

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