Serviceberries Make Me Happy – Planting the Healing Garden

If a person can be in love with a plant, then I am in love with my serviceberry trees. 
I’ve got five planted in our rain garden (which collects all the runoff from our roof–see that hole in the stone wall? That’s where the water pours out when it rains – fun stuff!). Serviceberries (Amelanchier x grandiflora) are one of those wonderful four-season plants that I mentioned a few postings ago (Planting for Seasonal Interest – Fall Color): Their buds in early spring are delightfully soft and fuzzy, almost like pussywillows, that open into pretty pinkish-white blossoms; they leaf out into a lovely green in the summer and then around June (hence their other common name, Juneberries) they produce delicious, edible berries which attract so many birds that you’ll be lucky if there are any left over for you to eat; they turn the most gorgeous colors in the fall – and not just one color, but an ever-shifting panoply of reds, oranges, and yellows that changes daily; until the leaves fall and then for the rest of the winter, you have the delightful privilege of gazing upon the trees’ graceful forms, all smooth grey (with a touch of rose) and sinuous curves. 

If you’re planting your own healing garden/sanctuary garden, think about the plants that make your heart sing, the plants you already adore or know you’ll fall in love with. If you don’t know what those are yet, make a point to visit a nearby garden, arboretum, or even large plant nursery at least once during each season (spring, summer, winter, fall) and take notes and pictures of what makes you smile, go ooh and ahh, even clutch the person next to you as you fall into a swoon. If you’re planting for clients, ask them to do the same. You and they will be rewarded with a garden that is meaningful and delightful for all of its days.
Yup, that’s the view from my office

To see more images of my serviceberries through the seasons–as well as an image of the rain garden fountain in action–you can go to the “showcase” page at