Calgarians love their yards, and to be able to enjoy a space outdoors is a true pleasure these days. Since all large gatherings and festivals have been cancelled for the summer, many of us are going to be spending even more time in our private enclaves.
The good news is that the long-range forecast for July and August in Calgary looks to be warmer than usual, so there will be plenty of bright and sunny days to enjoy your surroundings. And there is good news for those who love their gardens. Many don’t realize that due to consistently warmer weather, the planting zones in Calgary have changed in recent years. For a very long time, the city was stuck at Zone 3b for plant hardiness, which didn’t provide a lot of options, even though horticulturalists worked miracles to offer tougher varieties of species. But in 2016, we were moved to Zone 4a, allowing for a lot more experimentation to be had.
There are a few of new tree and shrubs options we’ve enjoyed trying out. Our clients have found them to be enjoyable additions to theirs yards, providing a conversation starter as well as visual interest. One of our specialties is shrub and tree installation, so all you have to do is pick the variety you like and we will do all the rest. Some of these options can be difficult to find, so if you are interested in trying one out we recommend getting started early, as special orders may need to be placed.
New Zone 3 and 4 Tree Installation Options
Planting zones in Calgary being extended to Zone 4 means that the choice for trees has become slightly more interesting. For an unusual tree installation project, here are some new choices for you:
- The Ruby Slippers Amur Maple is a hardy, smaller tree, growing to about 20 feet high by 20 feet wide. It blooms bright red and abundant flowers in the spring and summer and leaves turn a blazing orange colour in the fall.
- The Sunburst Honey Locust can reach 12 metres tall and up, making it a larger tree, but it is also still suitable for a smaller lot. The leaves turn from yellow to bright green in the summer, and allow for plenty of sunlight to pass through for grass or a garden below.
- The Weeping White Spruce is becoming a lot more common in Calgary. It’s easy to grow, and its small diameter allows it to fit perfectly into corners and small spaces. Best of all, it’s Zone 3, making it extremely resilient.
New Zone 3 and 4 Shrub Installation Options
Shrubs are fantastic for their versatility, and even without the Zone 4 option there are plenty of pretty choices for gardeners. The opportunity for experimenting with the planting zones in Calgary is perfect for this summer, however, so why not?
- It used to be said that growing a rhododendron was only something the most skilled gardeners could accomplish in Calgary, but that has changed with the introduction of the Ramapo variety. It grows to be about 3 feet tall and blooms abundantly with violet flowers in the spring.
- The Bobo Panicle Hydrangea’s conical white flowers are so numerous that when it blooms that the shrub’s leaves are hardly even visible. A good option for smaller spaces, this hydrangea variety only grows to about 90 centimetres high and 120 centimetres wide and does well in full sun or partial shade.
- Lilac bushes are lovely. They are early to burst into bloom and their purple flowers emanate a familiar aroma that Calgarians recognize as the first sign of summer. They can grow to be quite large, though, so are not ideal for every yard. The Dwarf Lilac grows to about a third of the size of its older relative, the French Lilac – ubiquitous to many areas of the city – and can be planted alone or as a hedge.
- The Weeping Caragana is familiar to Calgary yards, but we thought we’d include it because it’s one of our favourites. Like its cousin, the Common Caragana, it is extremely hardy, actually categorized as a Zone 2. It’s shape provides a striking accent to an garden, and the best part is that its tubular bright yellow flowers attract hummingbirds.
Don’t forget that your trees and shrubs are also habitat for Calgary’s numerous different bird species that we are lucky to have the city call home.
Mirage Landscaping Serves Southeast Calgary
Mirage Landscaping’s landscape construction services include sod and tree installation, irrigation servicing, patio and retaining wall construction, as well and landscape maintenance. We specialize in serving the southeast area of Calgary, including the communities of:
Auburn Bay, Chaparral, Chaparral Valley, Copperfield, Cranston, Douglasdale, Heritage Pointe, Lake Bonavista, Mahogany, McKenzie Lake, Mackenzie Towne, Maple Ridge, New Brighton, Odgen/Lynwood/Millican, Parkland, Riverbend, Sundance, Walden, and Willow Park.