Making a wildflower meadow

Just a reminder that I will be at the Nepean Horticultural Society on Thursday evening, talking about the procedures we used to make the three native plant meadow areas at Beaux Arbres. I’ll be showing lots of pics of summer wildflowers to cheer us up during this unpleasantly cold spell in March.

Making a Wildflower Meadow

by Trish Murphy of Beaux Arbres Native Plants

for the Nepean Horticultural Society

Cityview United Church, 6 Epworth Ave., Nepean ON

Thursday, March 16th 2017, 7:30 pm

All are welcome.

 

Earth Day: Will we have plants to sell?

The Ontario Horticultural Society, District 2 AGM is being held this year in Cobden, almost just across the river from our farm in Bristol. It will be featuring talks on native plants and a talk by the always entertaining naturalist, Michael Runtz.

We couldn’t resist signing up to be a vendor at their marketplace. Although I have no idea whether we will have any plants ready to sell, if seemed a grand opportunity to reach some of the most enthusiastic and committed gardeners in eastern Ontario.

So, let us hope for some fine warm spring weather in the weeks before Earth Day, April 22nd. With luck, the earliest plants will at least have sent out a few leaves. We don’t have any heated greenhouses to force plants ahead of their season, so what we get is what the season brings. It does mean that nothing we sell needs to be hardened off before being planted in your garden.

If you live in the Cobden, Beachburg, Renfrew, Douglas, Eganville area, and you are interested in gardening and not yet a member of a Horticultural Society, now would be a fine time to join, to participate in what is going to be a fine AGM. Pre-registration is required to attend the event.

Celebrate Earth Day in Eganville

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Hosted by the Eganville & Area Horticultural Society

Opeongo High School, 1990 Cobden Rd. (between Eganville & Cobden)

Rankin Cultural and Recreation Centre, 20 Rankin Road, Pembroke

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.

 

Blazing Stars

 

Two blazing star species in our garden are blooming now: Spike Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) and Prairie Blazing Star (L. pycnostachya).

The shorter spike blazing star was the first to bloom. We had put some spike blazing star in our tall-grass prairie planting at the base of the bank. Another name I have seen for spike blazing star in American literature is marsh blazing star, reflecting its distribution in areas with ample moisture. The base of the bank can be quite wet in spring, while the top of the bank can be very dry by mid-summer.

Spike blazing star (Liatris spicata), planted last September, starts to bloom in our tall grass planting.
Spike blazing star (Liatris spicata), planted last September, starts to bloom in our tall grass planting.

Spike blazing star occurs as a wildflower in southwestern Ontario. Probably the best place to see it in the wild is Ojibway Nature Preserve in Windsor, which is where I took this photo a few years ago.

A wild stand of spike blazing star, blooming in Ojibway Prairie Nature Preserve in Windsor, Ontario.
A wild stand of spike blazing star, blooming in Ojibway Prairie Nature Preserve in Windsor, Ontario.

Both species are very attractive to butterflies and large bumble bees.

White admiral on prairie blazing star in the swale garden.
White admiral on spike blazing star.