More Seedy Saturdays!

Back-to-back Seedy Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We will be bringing the Beaux Arbres Native Plants line of wildflower seeds to the Ottawa Seedy Saturday at the Ron Kolbus Centre in Britannia Park on Saturday.

On Sunday, we are heading out to Perth Royal Canadian Legion Hall for the Perth Seedy Sunday. This will be our first time at the Perth Seedy Sunday and we are looking forward to meeting enthusiastic gardeners looking to help pollinators, attract hummingbirds and butterflies and add beautiful wildflowers to their gardens.

We will be promoting Wild Lupin as our Seedy Special this year. We had abundant seed set on our wild lupins last summer. This beautiful blue flower requires sandy soil and is best started from seed as it hates root disturbance and it does not like growing in pots. At one time, Wild Lupin was the host plant for the Karner Blue Butterfly, which has been extirpated from Canada. There is a captive breeding programme using stock from the population in the US which still exists, although it is threatened by habitat loss.

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“Get them into the Ground” Sale

Our silly, top-heavy Spike Blazing Stars in 4″ pots keep blowing over and diving onto the lawn, where they will sometimes be chewed on by our resident groundhog. I could transfer them into larger pots, but what they really want is to be planted in the ground in your garden. This has prompted me to offer them at a 2 for 1 sale to our customers.

Spike Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) is a wildflower in south-western Ontario, where it is found in sunny prairie sites, often where there is a high water table for part of the year. In  the US, they are sometimes called Marsh Blazing Star, reflecting their wild preference for dampish sites. In gardens, however they are very adaptable to drier conditions, and in fact are quite tolerant of droughty spells in summer. They are completely hardy in western Quebec. In fact, these very plants that are on sale spent last winter in their overly small pots and I did not lose a single one to winter kill. (Lost a couple to having their roots eaten by voles, a fate to which Liatris are susceptible.)

Blazing Star flowers are very attractive to butterflies and other nectar seeking insects. They belong in every sunny wildflower garden. Spike Blazing Stars are the middling, mama bear member of the clan. At about three feet tall, they are taller than little Cylindric Blazing Star, and shorter than the imposing Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya).

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Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya) at Beaux Arbres

We will be bringing a flat of Spike Blazing Stars, budding nicely and ready to bloom, to the Marché Bristol Market on Friday afternoon and to the Pontiac Farmers Market in Shawville on Saturday morning. Just in case anyone has room for the stunning 5 to 6 foot tall Prairie Blazing Star, I’ll bring one of those (in a gallon pot) to market as well.

I have some little seedlings of another Blazing Star, Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera) growing in the greenhouse presently. Rough Blazing Star is happier in drier sites and is probably my favourite for the pretty silvery button effect the buds make before they open. They are not fast off the mark as seedlings so they may not be ready for sale until next spring.

Top photo: A wild stand of Spike Blazing Star in a nature reserve near Windsor, Ontario.

Open Garden Day, Spring 2016

Sunday, May 29th, 11 am – 4 pm

Beaux Arbres Native Plants is holding Open Garden Day slightly earlier this year,to give visitors a different view of the flowers, especially the spring flowers in the Rock Garden.

  • Tour the Demonstration  Gardens
  • Visit the nursery area to purchase your favourite native plants
  • Home-made baskets and other crafts
  • Coffee from Art Brulant

If you cannot make it that Sunday, we are open Saturday and Sunday afternoons throughout the summer, other hours by chance or appointment. Please plan to visit and bring a friend!

 

Seeds and Spring Flowers to come

Beaux Arbres Native Plants will be bringing seeds of wildflowers and other native plants to Seedy Saturday, Ottawa on Saturday, March 5th. (For a look at the seed species.)

We start the nursery season participating in the Rare and Unusual Plant Sale at the Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa on Sunday, May 15th. (We’ll post a list of species closer to the date.)

The Rare and Unusual Plant Sale is going to be one week later than it has been in previous years – this year it will be the Sunday after Mothers’ Day.

I am sure I am not the only one who has casually referred to this event as the Mothers’ Day Sale. However, after the two brutal winters and late springs we have had in the past couple of years, plant vendors found it difficult to get nursery stock up to saleable size and looking good for Mothers’ Day. I know that last year, three weeks before the sale, I had nothing, nothing, and nothing. Two weeks of above average temperatures saved my bacon.

This year,  Mother’s Day will be as early as it ever is. The RUP Sale organizers made the decision to hold the sale the following Sunday. I hope none of our loyal customers get confused about the date. Beaux Arbres will not only be bringing many good-looking native plants in pots, we hope the earliest bloomers will be in flower. (I am talking to you, violets, foamflowers and early saxifrages.)

Seedy Saturday, Ottawa: March 5th, 10 am – 3 pm at the Ron Kolbus Centre, Britannia Beach Park, 102 Greenview Avenue, Ottawa

Rare and Unusual Plant Sale: Sunday, May 15, 9 am – 2 pm, Neatby Building, 960 Carling Avenue, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa

Pictured above: Hooked-spur Violet (Viola adunca), an early spring bloomer for dry, sunny sites.