In Komsomolsk-on-Amur, winters are long and cold. It was always believed that on November 7 you can put on a fur coat. In recent years, winter has shifted slightly towards spring and put on fur coats a week later. Remove too later. 25-degree frosts in November is the norm, just like -30 ° C in December, January and February. In January, frosts and -40 ° C are not uncommon. March is insidious and deceptive: maybe +5 degrees, and maybe -30 degrees. And wind. In winter, spring, summer and autumn. There are few calm days, and the wind speed in winter is higher than at other times of the year. It was in such conditions that I grew my garden, trying to diversify it with decorative shrubs. In this article I’ll tell you about the most popular ones - which I grew myself and saw from others.5 flowering shrubs for the northern regions
There is nothing more ordinary than lilac. Remembering the thickets near the grandmother's house in the suburbs, it seems that it is easier to plant than to bring out. In Komsomolsk, this is somewhat different. Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) I grew up without any problems, although the growth rate was low. It bloomed in the third year of planting and grew slowly.
But terry forms had to be dragged from place to place to find more or less suitable conditions for them. This turned out to be a sheltered and sunny place on the south side of the house, where snow swept over the very windows. They hibernated completely in the snow, the first tassels of flowers were given out for the 7th year, and in a snowy winter they were frozen by the level of snow. Two years (before our move to the Kuban) were restored and did not bloom.
Amur Lilac (Syringa amurensis), which we call Amur Cracker - very elegant large shrub or multi-stemmed tree. Under the conditions of Komsomolsk it does not grow above 4 meters. In more favorable climatic conditions, it can grow up to 10 m. It blooms later than ordinary lilacs by 3 small creamy flowers in large inflorescences. Stunningly smells of honey!
This honey miracle lasts about 20 days. What is there white acacia from Kuprin's story! The smell of Amur cracker is never intrusive and suffocating. It is light, romantic, completely imperceptible in a few minutes of standing under a bush makes a person happy.
Not only this, unlike the common lilac, the foliage of which can hardly be called decorative in the fall, crackle is painted in orange-yellow-purple tones, it holds this beauty for a long time and firmly.
Despite the fact that I love lilac ordinary since childhood, the cracker conquered me. Having moved to the Kuban, the first thing I ordered and planted this amazing plant. Blossoms wait a long time, about 5 years, but it's worth it! It is unpretentious to the soil, does not like only frankly sour. Drought-resistant, it has never seen pests on it. Except, perhaps, the ringed silkworm. But he bursts everything, even oak leaves, aspen and pine needles. The years of its invasions happen in the Far East. On plants, only a crunch is worth it!
I saw the city’s enterprises greening Wolf Lilac (Syringa wolfii)while landed on the north side of the buildings. The bushes are regularly sheared immediately after flowering, and they look pretty neat. True, there are a lot of overgrown, they also cut it regularly. It blooms in late June, two weeks, abundantly, with lilac-violet tassels of small flowers. The smell is strong, and, in my opinion, cloying. However, many people like it.
Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris). Amur Lilac (Syringa amurensis).
Read also our material 6 rules for perfect care of lilacs.
Chubushnik coronet (Philadelphus coronarius) - Another fragrant happiness. During flowering, I want to somehow organize my existence near this bush. Beautiful pictures in catalogs and tempting descriptions were dizzy, and I tried to breed Lemoine mockers. Unsuccessfully - they froze and 'Dame blanche ' and 'Schneesturm '. Vekhovskie did not get caught.
While I was looking for the perfect mock-up for our difficult climatic conditions, a wild mock-up seedling grew in the thorny bush of Japanese quince. Apparently, something flew from the neighboring large bush of a long-forgotten variety. The neighbors' thickets were very successfully located almost close to the foundation on the south side of the house, and, covered by a garage from the prevailing winds, they felt quite comfortable.
I built a seedling from the south-west side, where there is more sun and in the winter it will sweep a lot of snow. The abundance of the sun is a guarantee of lush flowering. The first winters were wrapped in a double layer of thick spunbond, as he grew older, he began to winter in the snow. Young unripened shoots freeze in all cases of "black frost". That is, if in the absence of snow the temperature drops below -20 ° C. By the level of snow, all shoots overwinter. Chubushnik bloomed in the 3rd year and every year increases flowering.
Crown mock (Philadelphus coronarius).
Read our detailed material about the plant Chubushnik - the king of unpretentious shrubs.
At first I did not consider spirea as decorative shrubs - they are even more usual than lilacs and without a noticeable aroma. But after suffering with varietal chubushniki and lilacs, she decided to plant something without problems. I did not regret it, of course! Spirea are real "workhorses": they grow perfectly in dry partial shade, without requiring watering and feeding, and they bloom stably and plentifully.
I first appeared japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica) 'Little Princess', and, moving from place to place, multiplying along the way by division, it began to conquer space.
The bush is low, 60 centimeters, rounded, blooms from June to September with pink caps of small flowers. It is possible to cut after the first lush flowering so that the inflorescences are not removed separately, and after 3 weeks, it will produce even more plentiful flowering.
This shrub is good for planting weakly wintering plants - numerous small twigs retain snow well. And before the snow a lot of fallen foliage is stuffed and stuck in them.
Japanese Spirea "Goldflame" (Goldflame) with the buffy-yellow tips of young shoots turned out to be just as unpretentious, only slightly taller. And she needs more sun to unlock her potential. But I have sunny places occupied by more demanding plants. Then came gray spirea (Spiraea x cinerea) and spirea loosely white (Spiraea salicifolia).
All grow in dry partial shade. Watering mainly with rain, no fertilizing, but since the end of June it mulched with mowed grass. From 4 years of age, in the spring, she trimmed bushes by about a third or half height - this way there are more twigs and more flowering. And at 'Goldflame ', in general, all the beauty in young shoots. The more you cut, the more decorative.
Gray spirea begins to bloom in early June, strewn drooping branches with white foam of flowers, blooms for 2-3 weeks. Following the rest are blooming. The loosestrife blooms for a month with white fluffy "candles". 'Little Princess' - 2 months (highly dependent on the pruning and removal of faded umbrellas, can be extended). `Goldflame` blooms weakly for a month and it would be better not to bloom at all: pink flowers do not fit very well with golden ocher foliage. I prefer to remove inflorescences.
In the landscaping of the city met average spiraea (Spiraea media).
It never occurred to me to harbor spirea. Unripe shoots sometimes freeze. However, during spring pruning, they are still removed.
Japanese Spirea "Goldflame" (Goldflame).
Also read our Japanese Spirea material - a multi-colored shrub for your garden.
Viburnum ordinary "Bull de Nege" (Viburnum opulus Boule de Neige) extremely decorative in bloom. It is all covered with white balls of snow inflorescences. Seeing the flowering once, it is impossible not to catch a burning desire to grow it in yourself. I nursed her for a rather long time - bent and covered for the first three years, straightening and straightening in the spring, transplanted twice in search of a comfortable place, cut in the spring and watered in the summer.
It was comfortable for her to protect from the north and east a semi-shady corner with a dry clay soil of a neutral reaction. And how she thanked her flowering!
It winters poorly, all unripe shoots freeze over. And even matured, which are above the snow level, leave for a long time. But the lower branches, which appeared on the ground, easily let the roots out - they distributed several layers to friends. They say that if you crouch and cover constantly, it wintered remarkably.
The only plus of not covering for the winter of my viburnum is no viburnum leaf beetle. The ends of the shoots, where pest eggs try to winter, stick out above the snow at -35 ° C, blown by the wind. And even if they survived in such conditions, in the spring, I cut and burned the frozen tops of my head. As for the fact that there is simply no pest, I am not deceived - the viburnum vulgaris regularly is eaten by the neighbors. I also cut the tops of my fruit viburnum.
Viburnum fruit delights me with its striking autumn color of foliage, which, together with bright berries, decorates the garden very much. But this only happens in full sun. My viburnum, sitting in partial shade, can boast of yellow-orange clothes only of individual shoots escaping in the sun.
Viburnum vulgaris "Bul de Nezh" (Viburnum opulus Boule de Neige).
Read also our article Kalina - all about growing.
Huge caps panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) loves her husband very much. The flowering of an adult bush in late summer and early autumn is really impressive. It is a pity that without a noticeable smell.
The first bush of panicled hydrangea was grown from a handle cut off from an unknown variety from friends. Somehow, the easy green cuttings gave the roots and cheerfully moved to growth. Planted hydrangea closer to the entrance to the house, 4 hours of sun per day. The soil is a dry clay loam with a neutral reaction. Well, no acidic soil!
The bush grew well and bloomed already in the 3rd year. Then I saw in the catalog panicle hydrangea 'Vanille Fraise ' and decided to make her husband happy. This variety was more demanding and capricious than my "yard". Even with shelter after the first two winters, it was restored for a long time. Bloomed in the 3rd year, weakly. I had to acidify the soil.
The third winter with shelter I already experienced well, bloomed remarkably, grew well and it became problematic to cover it. I didn’t harbor him anymore. In spring, it looks a little sad, and then nothing, grows and blooms completely enchanting.
Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) I did not want to grow. Several times my acquaintance gave me cuttings from her bush, growing on a peat bog, flourishing with white caps. They took root, but they did not winter in the ground even with shelter. Probably, again, there is little sun, dry and neutral soil.
Panicle Hydrangea 'Vanille Fraise'.
Read also our material Panicled Hydrangea - Return of the Legend.
My tricks of growing ornamental shrubs in adverse conditions
The soil on the site is loamy, fertile to call (outside the vegetable growing zone) the language does not turn: huge old poplars grow on 2 sides of the site, immediately behind the fence. Their roots climb wherever there is at least a hint of food. They also suck out water.
Therefore, as a fertilizer for plants, mulch from grass and weeds is used. She also saves moisture at the roots. Sometimes shrubs fall ash from the barbecue, but rarely: all the best - roses.
Mulch keeps the soil loose and moist, strongly inhibits the growth of weeds and eliminates loosening of the soil. A sort of lifesaver for a busy (work, home, family) woman. Recommend!