Weeding out invasive plants at home 0
Finding a “greener” thumb is easy with a hands-on learning opportunity coming later this month.
The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust is offering the Plant Me Instead workshop at the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust Office, at 739 Mountain St. in Haliburton from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Led by Hayley Anderson of the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, the workshop will teach participants about native plants, invasive plant species and proper planting techniques.
Anderson, who describes herself as a passionate plant lover, wants people to know that gardens with native species can be as beautiful and easy to maintain.
“I hope they leave with a better understanding of their gardens and what they want from them. Native species and non-invasive species can still be beautiful and provide a wonderful garden,” she said.
The workshop is the first of 11 monthly Nature in the ’Hood: Discovery Days free offerings. The name is derived from the Nature in the Neighbourhood program offered by the Gosling Foundation, which funded the Land Trust’s series. This series focuses on getting people outside and learning. It fills a void left with the conclusion of the Discovery Days series of events offered by the Haliburton Highlands Stewardship Council.
Generally, cottage country is susceptible to plants such as periwinkle that can be brought in from suburban areas, Anderson said.
“If people aren’t there and not keeping an eye on it, often it can escape into forests. It causes quite the problem because it covers the ground and out-competes native species for water and food and sunlight,” she said.
Rachel Gillooly, program manager at the Land Trust, said everyone could learn something, particularly when it comes to native and invasive species.
“I never knew that periwinkle is an invasive species. We all use it for ground cover. But now in my own garden I’ve just noticed all the perennials I planted three years ago aren’t there because they’re being choked out,” she said, adding an alternative for periwinkle is wild strawberry. “I think it’s just a matter of not knowing what the alternatives are. We decided it would be a great idea to talk about that.”
The plant council’s workshop is part of the Grow Me Instead campaign to work with the landscape industry. The council is a non-profit group working towards raising awareness of invasive species and encouraging the purchase of native species. It works with the Master Gardeners of Ontario and was formed in 2007.
With the plant council since 2010, Anderson has given close to 30 presentations a year and the one thing everyone agrees on is a disdain for goutweed (also known as snow on the mountain). Goutweed is a ground cover plant that can take over gardens.
As a child, Anderson used to spend hours with her aunt, who is a master gardener.
A local representative of Country Rose Garden Centre will also be added to the event.
Next month the trust hosts Wonderful World of Mushrooms. This is the third offering of this workshop.
Pat Burchell, past-president of the Mycological Society of Toronto, will lead the educational walk on mushrooms at the Dahl Forest from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7.
Call 705-457-3700 or register online (www.haliburtonlandtrust.ca), as space is limited to 30 for each of the 11 workshops.