I may have grown up on and around farms but I was never a farmer. I have never had a green thumb it has been more like having two left thumbs. I could tell the difference between some plants but mostly I just knew that they were green. That is not to say that I did not retain some of the information that I have learned over the years but it was not ever something that I used. However, we bought a farm and now that we have enough land it seemed impossible not to start to learn more and become more adept in the art of gardening. When we first started, I relegated myself to digging holes and carrying plants from one side of the property to the other. I wanted to take a more active role in the gardening around the farm so I have been reading lots of books and listening to podcasts just to sharpen my skills. One of the podcasts that I have been listening to at every given chance is You Bet Your Garden hosted by Mike McGrath from WHYY out of Philadelphia. That is where I heard about the Serviceberry. I was intrigued by a native tree that grew blueberry like fruit, had white flowers in spring and turned a beautiful color in fall. Why had we not heard of this before?
We decided to go on a hunt for this elusive tree so we hopped into our car and drove to one of our favorite greenhouses, Johnston’s Evergreen Nursery in Erie, PA. We had been there many years before but because our yard was so small we just could not fit anything else in the tiny space. Now we have a few acres so we could once more go. After about an hour drive and a few wrong turns on my part we made it to the nursery and spent awhile looking for the Serviceberry. The website said there were thirty in stock but no matter what, we could not find it. Finally, we asked a worker and he took us to a large shrub that we immediately fell in love with and then after walking around a little while longer we located another few smaller bushes and decided to get another.
After loading them up in the car we made the trek home and knew exactly where we wanted to plant them. Just days before my father in law had tilled up a nice curved bed for us to create a screened pathway and just at the end we placed a bird feeder. Since the birds love the berries from the Serviceberry we thought it would be a great spot to sit and watch the birds in the mature bushes and also create a beautiful view as they bloom.
Serviceberry Potting Shed Stats:
- Family: Amelanchier canadensis ‘Shadblow’
- Mature Height: 20-25 Feet
- Mature Spread 10-15 Feet
- Soil: Widely Adaptable
- Zones: 4-8
- Sun Exposure: Full Sun
- Flower Color: Snowy White
- Fall Color: Yellow to Red
- Blooms early spring
Check the Sourcebook on where to find the Serviceberry if you can’t find it at your local nursery.