Wondering what to plant this spring? Macphail Woods has some suggestions

·2 min read
Gary Schneider, supervisor with the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project, has been putting on the workshop about native species since 1993. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)
Gary Schneider, supervisor with the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project, has been putting on the workshop about native species since 1993. (Tony Davis/CBC - image credit)

Islanders are getting ready to put plants in their gardens this spring and staff with the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project are reminding gardeners to use plants native to P.E.I. in their landscaping.

Gary Schneider, supervisor with the project, has been putting on the workshop since 1993.

He said one way he gets people to plant native species is by showing them what they can look like.

"I think people are just curious because they don't really know much about what is native and they don't know much about what's here," he said.

"We give them an opportunity to learn about some of these things and show them beautiful pictures. Then they can make their minds up. But if they don't know, you know, what a trillium looks like or what a witch hazel looks like, then they'll never try to reintroduce that into their property."

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

About 40 people showed up for the workshop at Macphail Woods in Vernon Bridge on Saturday.

Angela Niemi moved to P.E.I. nine months ago from Manitoba. She said she "grew up in the middle of nowhere" and she loves being outside and just wanted to learn more about what to plant on the Island.

"I just wanted to know more about the native plants and just about … reclaiming some of our land," she said. "I think I am going to come back because they have so many other opportunities here in the summer."

Tony Davis/CBC
Tony Davis/CBC

Every year at the workshop someone asks about invasive species, Schneider said, adding it is also important to know what not to plant on P.E.I.

"We're starting to be more concerned because it used to be, 'Well, I don't really care if it's invasive. It's just a good looking plant from my yard. And that's what somebody told me to buy,''' he said.

"Now people are making a conscious decision to say … 'I may like the look of this flower, but it may start taking over my garden or my neighbours' garden.'"

Macphail Woods nursery is open from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. Thursday through Saturday until June 4.

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