Sunday, May 31, 2009

Healthy Yards Event

Last week, I attended the Richmond Hill Healthy Yards Event where I got to pick up a Small Native Tree & Plant Kit. I was quite excited because for less than $25, I received a Kit consisting of an edible Black Raspberry Bush, a Red Dogwood Bush and assorted native wild flowers. Just like last year's event, there was a spot where you can pick up all the free mulch you can take back with you, as long as you bring your own shovel and containers. There were gardening experts on hand if you needed any gardening advice. There was even a Games booth where you can play assorted nature games.

Last year, I was initially disappointed that I had placed my order too late to receive a Small Plant Kit, but I decided to attend the Event anyways. It was a good thing too because I ended up playing a game where you had to match up pictures of leaves to pictures of the trees they came from in order to win a prize. I managed to match up all the leaves to all the trees correctly and I won myself a great prize! I was so ecstatic because I ended up winning the White Birch Tree that I had wanted to order. I was so very lucky that I won the White Birch because it wasn't even available on the order list this year.

This year, Dick helped me plant the bushes in our backyard while I transplanted the native flowers into my front garden. After several weeks of growing veggies and herbs from seed and transplanting them into our backyard, I think my garden is finally complete. I just need to see whether any of the flowers will bloom and if there'll be any goodies to harvest later on in the season. Stay tuned.

Here I am sitting in an Industrial Plough with my Native Plant Kit

A lotta folks helping themselves to the free mulch. Some brought garbage bags while others brought garbage bins or blue bins to fill'er up. There was even one guy who filled up the entire back of his pick-up truck. He must own a farm or something.
Here are the garden experts giving out some gardening advice to novice gardeners

Here's the Games booth where I won a prize last year

Here's the Red Osier Dogwood bush. It's suppose to bear tiny white flower clusters and white berries in the Spring and Summer. I may have to wait til next year to see that. The leaves will turn a maroon red in the fall and the branches will remain red, making for an attractive winter plant against a snowy backdrop.

This is the Black Raspberry Bush. I can see buds forming already. I hope we'll get some raspberries later this year!

Here are some Blue Vervain (the 2 largest plants), Showy Tick-Trefoil (the 2 small plants on the left, and some Harebell, the small plants on the right. Because these are all plants native to this region, they should grow very easily here.

According to the Fact Sheet I got with the kit, the Blue Vervain plant will produce beautiful electric blue flowers on the candelabra shaped flower head every year from July to September. The Showy Tick-Trefoil will produce magenta flowers in mid-summer and will attract butterflies and other pollinators. The Harebell is the classic bluebell flower that looks delicate but is a very hardy plant that tolerates drought very well, blooming from July to October. Now, that's my kind of plant. It won't readily die on me even if I forget to water it, has a long flowering season and has flowers in my favourite hues - blue and purple.

Here are some Ox-eye Sunflower (top), Spotted Joe Pye Weed (middle and some Dense Blazing Star (bottom).

The Ox-eye (false) Sunflower is an easy to grow butterfly plant. It's a tall plant producing sunny yellow flowers. It won't be my favourite, but I threw it into the garden anyways.

The Spotted Joe Pye Weed is another tall butterfly plant with clusters of magenta flowers.

The Dense Blazing Star is also a butterfly plant with spiky purple flowers. I like the colour but I'm not sure I like the shape. Looks like I may have a Butterfly Garden forming soon.

This one is a Wild Bergamot. This is Dick's favourite of the lot because it produces the scent of Earl Grey Tea. He loves that scent. I like it too because it is generally an undemanding plant and will produce showy lavender flowers in its second year.

These are the plants I didn't get around to transplanting. They are just a bunch of Prairie Ornamental grasses and some more yellow flowers. I may have to give these away or Dick might find a spot for them seeing as how he likes yellow flowers and grass more than I do.

Here's the White Birch tree I won a year ago. It was a short little thing back then.

This year, it has grown as tall as me. No white bark yet. In fact, it is not advisable to remove the bark from the tree until the diameter of the tree trunk is at least 6 inches. Even then, this can damage the tree unless it is harvested carefully and at the right time of the season, that being between mid-June to early July. So it looks like it will be a good long time before I can get my hands on any home-grown birch paper to use for my paper crafts.

1 comment:

Just Maintain said...

Sweet pic of you in the plough.