Thursday, January 21, 2021

Here's to continuous education! I've Registered for Ryerson's Landscape Design Certificate Program

I am taking this program for a few reasons:
  • the most obvious? I am crazy about gardening 
  • I love to certify; it's in my nature to set and achieve goals and programs like this give me direction
  • in my overall effort to think about how we as a society will successfully shift our traditional approach to urban/suburban landscaping, it is vital for me to truly understand what is being taught to today's landscape professionals
I am particularly interested in these elective options:
  • Ecology and Sustainable Landscapes
  • Landscape Restoration


Sunday, January 17, 2021

Front Habitat Draft 2 - thanks for the community feedback

With lots of feedback from an engaged Facebook group on native Manitoba plants I have made some revisions to my garden map. Before I share the updated version though I'd like to share this overview of my front yard. 

It conveys more information about how the light falls and which views might be important, such as out our front windows and for guests arriving up the driveway and sidewalk. 

Feedback from gardeners with experience with these native plants has led me to reconsider 3 areas so far: my grass choices, the degree to which I can support plants needing moist conditions and to not forget to check. Every. Single. Plant. for how deer and rabbit feel about it. 


In 'phase 2' I may create the physical environment for plants needing wet conditions, for now though Ridell's Goldenrod has been replaced by Showy and Stiff Goldenrod and Turtlehead's departure will allow me to expand my patch of Culver's Root. 

Canada Wild Rye has been replaced by Big Bluestem and Panic Grass. Big Bluestem being better behaved in the garden and Panic Grass not needing as much light as I'd previously thought.

Try as I might to vet all my plants for rabbit and deer preference, sometimes my enthusiasm gets the better of me and I simply forget to check. While I may still add a few violets, I will not use them as a ground cover en masse and will need to find a replacement. Sweet Scented Bedstraw is a consideration, but even though it is listed as deer resistant I don't believe it is rabbit resistant.

If you have any recommendations on ground covers native to Manitoba or any other thoughts, please don't hold back. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Feedback Welcome - draft habitat revealed!

Ta da!

I have a draft of what my new 550 sq ft front habitat garden bed will look like. 

While the shape is settled, consider it effectively a blank slate.  I encourage you to share your own thoughts about the design with me in the comments. 

Primary goals?

Save the planet. Do my part to combat our biodiversity crisis.

Increase the amount of habitat on my property using native plants.

Reducing the least productive and least sustainable portion of my greenspace, the lawn.

Secondary goal?

Maintain the look of a curated perennial garden. 

To broadly shift consumer behaviour it will become increasingly important for people to be inspired by beautiful home gardens with primarily native plants. To that end:

  • I've already arranged for my home to be on a garden tour this year, so gardeners can imagine making similar changes to increase biodiversity in their own yards. Yes, even with a newly planted bed.
  • I will be doing a presentation for the Prairie Naturals Gardening Group in April on integrating native plants into your home garden.

In October I took the first big step by putting in the new (lasagna) garden bed. Racing against the changing seasons, I finished just as the snow fell. There is no better incentive to plan a garden than to have the empty bed prepped and ready for next season.

This is where you come in. 
If you have experience working with native plants from Manitoba, or thoughts on overall design, feel free top speak up. I value feedback from the broader gardening community. Now is the time to make changes to the design - before I start buying any plants!
Don't worry about the number of plants this design is not to scale...yet.

All feedback is welcomed, in particular:

  • Which plants can easily and effectively begin with direct sowing this spring?
    • Violets? Bloodroot?
  • Will the Turtlehead be moist enough?
  • Will the Obedient plant get enough sun?
  • Where can I buy local native orchids?
  • Are there endangered plants and animals I can create specific habitat for?

Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.