With the end of each season comes sales! As autumn wears on, nearly all garden centers in the northern part of the United States typically discount the remaining summer stuck of plants significantly. I desired a smallish hardy shrub to go in the center of the raised bed where I had been attempting to grow my sweet cicely. The cicely is growing along the right edge, so I wanted something that grew up to 10 feet high x 5 feet wide. I perused all the shrubs and came across a bush cherry that was 50% off.
I took out my phone and did a quick bit of research. The variety I was considering was the Juliet Bush Cherry. This beauty is happy to Zone 2! It grows to ten feet high and 5-7 feet wide. Perfect! To top it off, one plant can eventually produce 25 pounds of cherries once mature. Quite a delightful bonus, wouldn’t you agree?
I started creating this post on the 13 August of this year. With that in mind, here’s a moment that happened as I was writing that day:
I am sitting outside writing this and the sun is now in the west which makes it difficult to sit in the shade under the pergola. Because of this, I am sitting on the couch which is still shaded. I have a bonsai with a tray underneath that catches water. The chickadees love to drink from this tray. I am sitting right next to it so now and again I can hear wings fluttering near my head. The chickadee flapping around wanted to land but didn’t like my being so close. I moved down and stole these photos.
I absolutely adore the chickadees and have more dedicated feeders for them than any other bird.
I purchased the Juliet Bush Cherry and once home, I created a respectable hole and planted it in snugly into the little raised bed. Digging and planting finished, I removed my gloves, sat down and immediately started looking forward to the day when it would reach maturity. When that day arrives, my sweet cicely will have ample shade and I can harvest fresh cherries as an added bonus!
Because winter would be arriving soon, I added an entire bag of soil pep mulch to the entire area.
Though the bush cherry is still relatively small, it did seem it would provide some decent shade for my (hopefully) soon to be emerging sweet cicely. But, would it be enough to allow for success?
I believe it was the second or third week of March when I noticed the little fern textured leaves poking through the ground. Though optimistic, I did not allow myself to get too excited. I had seen the foliage emerge in a similar fashion in years past. It did not take long for me to realize that this year was going to be different however. More and more leaves began to emerge and then! I was blessed with flower stalks. The little umbels were similar to that of Queen Anne’s Lace and their very presence allowed for the type of elation only a gardener would understand. When you try for something so long within the garden, an occurrence such as this is wonderful validation for years of hard work.
I wish I had a photo to show you, but I cannot seem to find any of the photos I took when the flowers formed. With that said, here is a photo from Wikimedia Commons that is a fair representation of what I saw in my garden.
I am not entirely sure why I had such success this year. It could be everything combined (clearing out competing plants, providing a bit more shade, etc.) but I am convinced that the main reason is due to adding the soil pep. I say that because I added soil pep to other parts of the garden. In each area where soil pep was added, the plants flourished. I absolutely love this product and plan to mulch the entire garden with it throughout the rest of this autumn season.
This concludes the Sweet Cicely portion of this series. I still owe you a story about the maple and that story shall be told in the third and final part of this series.
I thank you so kindly for reading.
Until next time, happy gardening and thank you for being a part of my community!
As always, here are some photos of my garden for you to enjoy.