Return of the Native - About Us
Aug 31

Yes, fall is a good time to plant trees, shrubs, perennials etc.

People plant in spring and fall. In my view, fall is better because it gives the plant a chance to settle in and go into dormancy. It is then in position as soon as growth begins the following year. I have planted right up to freeze-up without a problem - but September / October are the best times as the plants get to adjust to the gradual change of season. 

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. And place an order, to be extra sure it's still here when you arrive!

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Aug 27

Butterfly bush: in Ontario, stay in control

It’s beautiful, fragrant and butterflies love it. So do many gardeners.

“It got every single butterfly you could think of,” a friend tells me. “The clearwing moth lived in it.” Although she gave her Butterfly Bush (Buddleja davidii) to a friend when it was losing a territorial dispute to a Winterberry (Ilex verticillata), she still lights up at the memory of the diversity and number of visitors it attracted

But there are two key strikes against this alien plant from China, leading to the Great Butterfly Bush Debate. 

- It does not support future generations of butterflies because it is not a host plant, meaning that its foliage cannot be consumed by any lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) that are native to North America. 

- It’s extremely invasive in many parts of the world, each plant's hundreds of thousands of dust-like seeds borne on the wind into disturbed areas like roadsides, railroads, abandoned lots, and riparian areas where it smothers native plant communities. 

I got drawn into the Great Butterfly Bush Debate at a recent talk I gave on pollinators, organized by Tiny Township at the Perkinsfield Community Gardens.
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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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