Return of the Native - About Us
May 25

How to plant a tree

Picture a flattened bowler hat. The young tree is planted in a mound slightly above the level of the ground, surrounded by a saucer-like moat to collect rainwater. That’s the goal.

Let’s back up to the start. A bareroot tree – it’s too late to plant one now, you would have had to have done that a month or so ago – goes in the ground as soon as it arrives. If you’re not ready right away, keep the tree cool, in the shade, and the roots moist, either in a bucket filled with water or well packed in moisture-retaining material like leaf mould or shredded paper. A bareroot tree is dormant – it has no or very minimal leaf growth.

A potted tree, which will by now have foliage, can go in at any time. If your new planting gets overtaken by drought, extra care is needed: a temporary shelter to shield it from the blazing sun, a daily soak, and a daily misting. Now and into June, there should be no problem planting a container tree and while regular care is a good idea, if the planting has been done right (see below, especially the mulching part) and there is reasonable precipitation, the tree should be in good shape to survive if you have to plant and leave.
Read more
May 1

A moving target: the pollinator-friendly plant list

We all love lists. As we click on a promising headline, we anticipate an easily digested scrap of knowledge – not too much information, not burdened with complexity, but knowledge nevertheless - simplified, ordered, finite, authoritative. Armed with a list, the gardener can face up with a measure of confidence to the bewildering array of choices in the seed catalogue or garden centre.

But watch out - not all lists are created equal. In fact, a study published in the journal BioScience in 2014 looked at lists of pollinator-friendly plants in the U.K., Canada and the U.S. and found surprising shortcomings and misinformation, both in the lists, and in plant labels that rely on them. One list, compiled by a government-funded organization called Natural England, was described as looking “very much as if it was put together late one Friday afternoon.”

A list is only as good as the data that has gone into it, the study authors point out, but surprisingly they found the empirical sources on which lists are based are almost never provided. The study found that many good pollinator plants were omitted while poor plants were sometimes recommended. Here’s the link: ‘Listmania: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Lists of Garden Plants to Help Pollinators’ by Mihail Garbuzov and Francis L. W. Ratnieks.
Read more
Apr 21

Opening Day: Thursday May 11. nb: Credit Cards now accepted

Opening hours for May, June 2017: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 10am to 4pm. If you need to come before or after these hours, on or another day, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 705-322-2545, it can be arranged.
Payment: cash, cheque or credit card


Plant list

Latest Blog Posts

View all posts

Blog Updates

What is 10 minus 5?

Books For Sale