Jan Pedersen’s personal garden is kaleidoscope of colour, shape, texture and form all created by his skill in landscaping with trees and shrubs. Jan, who was once the co-owner of Shelmerdine Garden Centre, the largest garden centre in Manitoba, also spent 10 years working for one of the foremost growers of hardy shrubs and trees in Canada, Bylands Nurseries out of Kelowna. Jan is a knowledgeable guy.

He tells us how to design with shrubs and trees, naming his favourites and explaining why. First up is Amber Jubilee ninebark, a shrub introduced by Jeffries Nurseries to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee some hears ago. This beautiful shrub starts out in a blaze of colour ranging from gold to amber to lime green then as summer moves in, the leaves turn green. Jan tells us how to keep that amazing colour until fall, when the plant turns a deep burgundy.

He mentions the advantages of two other varieties of this hardy and reliable shrub, Little Devil and and the deep burgundy to purple Diablo and he tells us why he enjoys the Little Devil Ninebark.

His personal favourite, though, is the taller Tiger eyes sumac with its lacy leaves that can be a lime green to brilliant orange.  He has also formed an appreciation for Gro-Lo sumac which is an ideal shrub for a landscape that features a lot of hardscaping. Its leaves are more traditional. Like most sumacs it spreads, but does so in a gentle way, covering up bare patches and contrasting well with concrete. It also colours up brilliantly in fall. It sticks to a height of about two feet.

We look at fruiting shrubs and finish with advice on the best trees to grow in an unpopulated landscape, perhaps that of a new suburban home. Jan names seven of his favourite trees and explains the reasons for choosing each.

As a bonus, Jan chooses two musical pieces by Canadian artists. The first is a group out of Toronto that calls itself Wilderness of Manitoba and the song is Echoes. The second is a song called The Spark by William Prince from Winnipeg.