The Sunny Serviceberry

The Japanese maple was planted inside a circular raised bed. Removing it left this wonderfully charming space for new plants!

Raised bed = fun!

I love the green moss. I hope that too much sun won’t end up drying it out, but I suppose we shall see when the summer returns.

The pachysandra had spread from other places, and was just beginning to colonize the bed.

Got rid of the pachysandra first. Easy to pull up!

I was super excited to begin planting this bed. I thought some taller plants that were well-loved by birds and pollinators would make it a hit. It is easily seen from the family room of the house, so I have placed birdfeeders in the circle for now. Once the plants begin blooming next year, you will also see the color as you make it up the driveway.

The Japanese maple stump is still there, but I’m planting around it.

I wanted something that could help to anchor the space, so I chose something potentially awesome. I went with Eastern serviceberry (Amelanchier canadensis), which is a shrubby sort of tree that won’t grow larger than 20 feet. It also benefits 124 species of moths and butterflies, which is what attracted me to it, along with beautiful spring blooms, edible fruits, and the promise of interesting fall foliage. It also tolerates clay soils, which is what the planting site possesses. Serviceberry likes full sun and partial shade, so if the towering oaks in the area block its light for a short part of the day at some point in the year, it won’t suffer.

These are some photos of mature serviceberry in different seasons:

Berry photo from, spring flower photo from Horticopia, Inc, and autumn photo from Echter’s Garden and Nursery.

Here’s my picture of my little guy. He’s settling into fall after a long summer drought, so he’s not at his best, and he’s small, but he’ll grow quickly and I will take good care of him so he can be at his best.


Serviceberry can sometimes have insect or rust problems, but I’ll watch for that. I’m usually okay with “insect problems,” because I’m all right with some holes in my leaves – that’s how I know my wildlife-friendly plan is working! Unless of course, it’s the damage of a nonnative insect, which can happen. I’ll be ready with neem oil if the damage should go too far, or if the culprit is nonnative.

I’ll continue documenting what plants are going in with the serviceberry. I get the feeling that some things I plant will get moved to other place, but I’m excited about the evolution of this round garden.


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