25 March 2014

Where to buy native plants in southern Ontario - Spring 2014

Photo Courtesy of High Park VSP
Saturday May 3rd & Sunday May 4th
St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre Announces their 2104 Spring Public Sale
The Spring sale will be hosted on Saturday, May 3 & Sunday, May 4, 2014.  Customers will have access to the very best source-identified native trees, grasses, shrubs, and wildflowers found in Ontario, all at special wholesale pricing. St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre – 826 Hwy 24 W – St. Williams, ON. Saturday, May 3, 2014 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. & Sunday, May 4, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday May 10th, 10am-3pm

North American Native Plant Society's Annual Spring Native Plant Sale
Markham Civic Centre Atrium, Hwy. 7 and Warden Ave.

Sunday May 11th, 2011, 11am-2
High Park Stewards' Native Plant Sale  High Park, Toronto
The sale will take place in front of the High Park Greenhouse from 11:00 to 2:00 pm. In order to have plants for everyone to enjoy, large orders will be available only after 1:00 from the remaining stock. Please park in the Grenadier Restaurant parking lot. Assistance in carrying plants will be provided. Cash only. Please park at the Grenadier Restaurant and walk to the Greenhouse S. on Centre Road to Greenhouse Road.

Happy planting! :)

PS: Want to know about many more local native  plant events? Let me once again recommend The (awesome) Local Scoop event calendar!

NEW! - OIPC invasive plant Webinar Series

"The Ontario Invasive Plant Council collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources will be hosting it's second lunch-time webinar based on our Invasive Plants - Best Management Practices documents.

In preparation for the spring field season, every Wednesday for the next 6 weeks the OIPC will deliver a webinar on an invasive plant which will include a presentation and an open discussion where participants can ask questions to our expert panelists.

The webinars will be held during the lunch hour (12:00-1:00pm EST)  

We hope you can join us for some of the following webinars:

  • Common Buckthorn - event complete - presentation posted on the website.
  • Dog-strangling Vine - March 26
  • Garlic Mustard - April 2
  • Japanese Knotweed - April 9
  • Phragmites - April 16
  • Reed Canary Grass - April 23
  • Giant Hogweed - April 30
The webinars feature information on the identification, habitat, impacts, control, management, monitoring and reporting of the plant.

Panelists will be available to answer questions after the presentation.

The presentations will be posted on the website after the webinar, including a quiz to test your knowledge.  Once completed the OIPC will send you a certificate of completion.

For this event you will be able to listen through your computer speakers or via conference call. The call in information is given once you have registered for the event."

To register for the next webinar please visit the homepage of their website. There you'll also see past webinars, presentations and module quizzes.

13 March 2014

Pollinators of Native Plants, by Heather Holm

Pollinators of Native Plants by Heather Holm

I'll let you in on a couple of secrets. One of my greatest pleasures in life is to sit in my backyard with a drink or a coffee in dappled light and simply watch my plants be pollinated. Each time a bee meets the bloom I feel a sense of relief and satisfaction that something is still right with the world.

The fact is though, I don't know my pollinators.  Ok, I can ID common butterflies, catch the odd leaf-cutter bee (which kind I don't know, there are several) making half-moons on my leaves, and the "big-fuzzies" always get my attention, but no, I really don't know who these insects are at all. I have one beneficial pollinator mini-guide for Toronto (view it for free here) and an over-my-head encyclopedic book about insects (which one of its' major contributors assures me is really about southern Ontario insects), but there's a big gap in between them that needs to be filled. I'm betting this book will suit that task.

To get a look at what you're in store for see the book's home page including its preview pages.  And, whether interested in the book or not, seriously do check out her blog -- wow!

My copy  just arrived a couple of days ago and I can say that it is beginner to intermediate level. Its range is upper midwest states and provinces (Holm, now based in Minnesota is a U of Guelph graduate). It is so well delivered as a guide, you can just pick it up and instantly use it intuitively. It ably shows you how to attract, plant for and identify pollinators of common native plants. There are pages of native plant pics and descriptions organized by habitat -- prairie, woodland edge, for example -- and in this way you can use this as a native planting guide for what-to-plant-where according to your yard or site, and it shows LOTS of pics along side descriptions of which pollinators use each plant.

It has good reviews, for example Carole Sevilla Brown at Ecosystem Gardening writes "Heather Holm has two passions: native plants and their pollinators, and she’s combined these two loves into an incredibly informative and useful book that will help you choose the best plants for your wildlife garden to attract an abundance of native pollinators. She has effectively given us a botanical reference to native plants in conjunction with an entomological reference to native pollinators in one complete volume. ..."

If you're interested, you can order it online for $32.50 including tax and shipping to Ontario.

Wish me luck in my insect ID'ing. But you know what? Even if I can't learn the name for each pollinator, when the beneficial ones meet the buffets we've planted for them, things are alright.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada License.