Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Trials and Tribulations of Zone Three Gardening

Yes, that title might seem a tad melodramatic - but currently my frustration with our growing zone knows no bounds.  I must admit, I have the slightest obsession with hydrangea bushes at the minute.  Aren't these just the most lovely things you've ever seen:

Sadly for those of us in Zone 3, the hydrangea is a virtually unattainable dream as it is recommended for Zone 8 and up (possibly 5b if you are lucky).  If, by some miracle, you have found a variety of hydrangea that can survive the temperature extremes of Zone 3, please leave a comment for me.

If you aren't sure what I am talking about regarding this "growing zone" situation, here is a map (for those of us in Canada, just follow the average temperature key at the bottom):

Though I am sad that I cannot grow hydrangeas, I do have a few favorite perennials that grow in our zone of crazy weather.

1.  Common purple lilac.  I don't think anything beats the smell or color of lilacs in full bloom.

Me with my mom's lilacs in Grade 12 - this feels like a million years ago!
2.  Potentilla.  These compact shrubs grow wonderfully in zone 3 and are very hardy (even resistant to deer).  I am planning on planting these underneath our south facing picture window as soon as it is warm enough to plant.

3.  Lily of the valley is one of my favorite perennials - also one of my favorite wedding flowers!


4.  Peonies are another favorite perennial and favorite wedding flower.  They might be the one flower that can beat lilac in the scent department - in my opinion.


5.  Roses might be last but they definitely aren't least.  I have shared this picture before but it really is one of my favorites.  I love these roses that we inherited from Brett's grandparents when we bought their house.

Do you have any zone 3 gardening tips?  Or general gardening tips?  I would love to hear them in the comments section!

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