With spring just arriving I wanted to to let you all know that MacPhail Woodlot and Ecological Center’s Native Tree & Shrub Nursery is opening this week. It is a wonderful place to buy wildflowers, native shrubs and trees that have been grown right at the nursery from seed collected from native species throughout the Island. One of the mandates of the woodlot is to help bring back the species that were here in the Acadian forests, thus helping to restore the diversity of plants that have been destroyed with some not so earth friendly practices throughout the last century or so.
There is wonderfully helpful information on their site with recommendations of plants suitable for a variety of situations from hedgerows and native landscaping for a variety of situations from wet, dry or shady areas to plants that will attract a variety of wildlife including birds and butterflies providing natural cover and food for overwintering species. It is worth browsing their site and making a list. The plants are uber healthy and so reasonably priced, they are used to our climate and soil..I haven’t had any setbacks ever with the ones I have purchased there.
You can email in an order, set aside a day to pick it up and make sure you leave some time to wander around the beautiful grounds, take the dog and go for a hike on the great hiking trails that they have built. It is a favorite spot for Jack & Hazel..they start whining with excitement as soon as we turn unto the clay road to MacPhails in Kinross..wooded trails, water, bridges..it just doesn’t get any better for 2 Labradors.
A few years ago Paul and I decided to pull out a nasty old culvert that was in the small stream that runs a few feet behind my wood studio. We built a small wooden bridge to span the stream. The previous owners had planted lawn right along the stream banks and we wanted to restore the native cover that is found in the wild….So we shopped at MacPhails, the site was readily available to help us in our choices and we didn’t break the bank. With the native plantings we put in a few favorites from our other beds ..
We planted trees that like the moisture…and shrubs for wildlife..the birds are loving it…..as are the frogs, toads and little salamanders along the bank. dragonflies and butterflies bless us in the summer….These are photos from last spring, getting to this point this year almost…I had just set out the Mason Beehouse I turned from beech that was packed with eggs, stored in the shed for the winter and ready now for the big hatch.Jack is sitting in front of a patch of Meadowsweet a great showy native plant that is one of my favorites. These are native cowslips that we transplanted from river below the stone railway bridge that is behind our property and where the dogs swim daily. They are so beautiful along the waters edge and among the wild Blue Flag Iris we also transplanted from the Waterside Road marsh. There are also cinnamon ferns, the little fiddleheads are just popping up..they are so beautiful when they are in full show.This is the beautiful Red Oak in the fall that is among the red maple and yellow birch trees we planted, this is just a year after planting…beside it are the butterfly houses we make here to offer protection from weather and predators for the beautiful butterflies loving the native plantings. There are also MacPhail fir and spruce along with red dogwood for winter color and interest.
I wanted to show you what can be done with native plants in your yard and garden……..So before you dig in imported species, do yourself and the Island a favor..check out MacPhails…it is one of our treasures here. You can also take in native landscaping workshops and how about a late night OWL PROWL with the kids!!