Return of the Native - About Us
Aug 10

Closed in August - open by appointment in September & October

We are open by appointment. It is a good idea to check the plant list before you come, as our on-site labelling and signage lags behind the growing. This list is updated on a regular basis, so you can be sure that if it's on the list, it's available. Though if you're coming from afar because you're interested in particular plants, check before you come, just to be sure.

NB: We will be closed in August - re-opening early September, precise date TBA. 
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Jul 21

Support the CCIPR, help put a stop to invasive species

I have done my part, unintentionally, in making my yard a haven for alien invasive species.

I planted Periwinkle, having seen it looking pretty in local forests and thinking it a native “wildflower.” 

From nearby ditches, I dug up Dame’s Rocket and Bouncing Bet, locally known as wild phlox.

I planted variegated Bishop’s Goutweed. 

I planted Crown Vetch. 

I planted two Norway Maples. And two Amur Maples that I actually grew from seed purchased from the (now closed) Ontario Tree Seed Plant 20 years ago, at a time when the native status of a plant was not viewed as a critical consideration.

All these plants loved my place.

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Jul 21

Garden for the Rusty-patched Bumblebee: this book's a winner!

There’s a small pile of books on a table by my desk - the writers are my go-to references for garden questions. Heather Holm, Doug Tallamy and the late Henry Koch are my guides, and of course Lorraine Johnson, whose 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants has been by my side since its publication in 1999.

Now Johnson, along with co-author York University professor Sheila Colla, has produced another winner: A Garden for the Rusty-patched Bumblebee - Creating Habitat for Native Pollinators (Douglas & McIntyre) is a wonderful introduction to the world of our pollinating friends.

Like so many other insects, the Rusty-patched is a bee that was once abundant across eastern Canada and North America and is now in steep decline. In Canada, the last individual was found, by Colla, in 2009 at Pinery Provincial Park. In 2012 it had the “unfortunate distinction” of becoming the first native bee to be designated as endangered in Canada.
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