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Archive for ‘April, 2018’

We’re getting closer and closer to planting season, and the question that’s on everyone’s mind is: “what can I add to image of: prairie smoke (geum triflorum)my garden to put those winter months behind me?” Even though we’re a few weeks into spring, the weather can still feel a bit December-ish. Well, we’ve got an answer for you. Our April ‘Species of the Month’ is the Prairie Smoke (Geum triflorum), and it’s a low-growing plant with showy flowers that does best in dry soil conditions. If you’re looking for a plant that’ll help you transition into spring, then this is the one for you.

Smoke on the Prairie

One of the most notable characteristics about Prairie Smoke is its unique, drooping flowers. These flowers bloom into a reddish-pink to light purple colour in late spring. These are truly a beautiful sight when you have a section of the ground covered in Prairie Smoke, but what’s maybe even more interesting are the fruiting heads that follow. As the flower fades and the seeds begin to form, the styles elongate to form upright, feathery gray tails which image of: prairie smoke (geum triflorum)collectively resemble a plume or feather duster. This is what gives the plant its name, ‘Prairie Smoke,’ as it can resemble a plume of smoke wafting over a field.

The Drier the Better

Talk about shaking off the winter blues. This plant not only blooms into a very springy pink colour, it actually thrives in drier conditions. Prairie Smoke is best grown in dry, well-drained soils in full sun. The plant will tolerate light shade, and during the hotter days, prefers some afternoon shade, but for the most part is averse to full watering. Prairie Smoke may be grown in medium moisture, but the plant will almost surely die out if it’s subjected to wet winter soil conditions.

Garden Uses

Like many of the plants we grow at St. Williams, Prairie Smoke is a friend to the bumblebee, and other potential image of: prairie smokepollinators that are strong enough to get into the flowers. The ripe seeds produced by the plant are quite fragrant as well and has been used to make perfume. Because it’s drought tolerant and prefers dry conditions, Prairie Smoke is an excellent choice for planting on a green-roof if you’re looking to make your building more energy efficient. Prairie Smoke is low-growing and plays well with a selective group of plants. It makes a great accompaniment to a rock garden or to other low-growing species, such as: Early Buttercup (Ranunculus fascicularis), Nodding Wild Onion 9Allium cernuum), Cylindrical Blazing Star (Liatris cylindracea), Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinecea pallida), and Upland White Aster (Solidago ptarmicoides).

If you’ve started planning your low-growing gardening or landscaping project for this year, you don’t want to miss out on the beautiful, and aromatic Prairie Smoke (Geum Triflorum). Gazing at your garden every day will serve as a stark reminder that we’re through the cold months and are ready to enjoy the warm weather of spring and summer…Just like this fuzzy little plant.

For more info, and to order our species of the month, click here. There’ll be more on Prairie Smoke this month, including ‘Fast Facts,’ ‘Did You Know,‘ and a ‘Species of the Month’ video! So stay tuned to stwilliamsnursery.com, and our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages.

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Go Wild Grow Wild with Carolinian Canada in London on April 7

St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre is thrilled to be returning to Go Wild Grow Wild, taking place Saturday, April 7, 2018 at the Metroland Media Agriplex, Western Fair District in London, Ontario.

This incredible event, put on by Carolinian Canada brings together the region’s businesses, experts, organizations, and groups in one massive event!  The Go Wild Grow Wild Expo will inspire you with incredible information, interactive workshops, live demonstrations, and much more!  New features this year include the Green Living Zone image of: go wild grow wild logoand Wild Green Marketplace.  Admission is $5 and Children under 12 are free.  Tickets are available at the door or they can be purchased online HERE.

The St. Williams Nursery and Ecology Centre booth will feature a variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees available for purchase.  For a list of our availability at the show, please CLICK HERE.  Please note that our availability is limited and once species are sold out we will not be able to restock them.

One of our favourite features at Go Wild Grow Wild are the incredible workshops offered all day long.  2018 features a huge line up that includes a variety of speakers that will discuss pollinators, wildlife, native plants, and many more environmental topics.  To see a full list of exhibitors, CLICK HERE.  Note that this schedule is subject to change.

We’re looking forward to seeing you this Saturday at Go Wild Grow Wild!  Don’t forget to stop by the St. Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre booth to check out our native plants and say hello to our staff.

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Earlier this month, a collection of staff members from St Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre hit the highway to attend the Shifting the Paradigm Forum 2018 presented by Carolinian Canada and World Wildlife Fund – Canada (WWF). The forum was targeted around the growth of the native plant industry in the Carolinian Zone….which was music to our ears here at St Williams. The organizers’ intentions were to bring key stakeholders to the forum in order to promote collaborations, share ideas, and foster relationships which can and will help to achieve this common goal.

The day was filled with inspirational presentations and commentary from a wide array of perspectives and personalities within the native plant industry. The day was kicked-off with an eye-opening presentation by Dr. Dan Longboat from Trent University into the Indigenous Perspective of reconciliation with the land. It was very interesting how the traditions shared by generations of indigenous people have been both prophesizing and cautionary. We must remain conscious of what the land is telling us, and how we must reciprocate within the relationship.

Dr. Longboat was followed by our own Allan Arthur, President of St Williams Nursery & Ecology Centre. Allan gave a image of: Allan Arthurgreat synopsis on the current state of the native plant industry in Ontario, and the challenges that we face every day in enhancing biodiversity though the propagation and restoration of source-identified native species.. We know that Allan could have talked for days on the matter, but he was able to condense his synopsis nicely into a 30 minute presentation that fit the day’s agenda.

Following Allan’s presentation, we were treated to a number of panels with representatives from all different walks of life in the native plant industry. We heard from a panel that discussed the integration of native plants into the overall green space industry, with representatives from the private sector (Tony DiGiovanni, Landscape Ontario and others), the public sector (Patricia Landry, City of Toronto and others) the not-for-profit sector (Kathleen Law, Pollinator Partnership and others) and as well as  the social finance sector. It was a coming together of these four sectors to discuss how a collaboration could work to introduce more native plant diversity into the local landscape. The next panel discussed stories from the frontline, as native plant author and guru Lorraine Johnson moderated a great discussion amongst growers in the native plant industry, focused on the trends that they have seen emerge over the past decade. The third panel introduced another set of perspectives to discuss just how this need for native plants restoration may lead to greater business opportunities in the market.

The end of the night included a great networking session, which was highlighted by a presentation from St Williams’ image of: Stefan Weberown Stefan Weber (PhD Candidate) on the need for a native plant sourcing and distribution network in Ontario. We felt that Stefan’s presentation did a great job of closing the loop on the day’s discussions. It really showed how many of the individual goals that we discussed throughout the day, could in fact be achieved through collaborative regional seed conservation strategies Stefan’s presentation was followed by a panel that discussed investment in the conservation sector. The panel highlighted that funding is available to the sector, whether it be through private equity investment, or social financing opportunities. The metrics are dependent on the fund/investor, but it was noted that the interest is there, to support what we at St Williams believe is the right thing to help protect our local ecosystems, and the services they provide us.

If you’re looking for a more in-depth and comprehensive into the day, be sure to check out the article written by Ecoman at http://ecoman.ca/carolinian-canadas-paradigm-shift-unites-industry-to-take-native-plants-mainstream/

 

Written by: Chad Asselstine, Business Development

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