Wow, what a day! We were very proud to be at the 3rd annual RBG Native plant sale. This year was the biggest – well attended. We sold out of all the larval butterfly plants. It is wonderful to see the growing enthusiasm of the public towards protecting our pollinators. An added new feature to the sale this year was the free lectures being offered at the Rock Gardens center. We were very happy to present a slide show on local butterflies and their larval plants. I know not everyone fell asleep, some people actually took notes!
1,000 American Elms still remain in our Ontario landscape, over 100 years old, standing resistant to Dutch Elm disease (DED). We, at Puslinch Naturally Native Trees Nursery, have progeny from these parent trees and are now offering them for reintroduction into the environment.
In 10 years, super resistant DED elm progeny will be available from the University of Guelph elm recovery program. It is our hope that both natural and super DED elms will be planted together. Why? Even though emphasis is on DED we must also consider climate change. The naturals have a vast genetic base that may offer adaptive abilities to our changing weather.
Even though there was a nip in the air, I was still amazed to see a Red Admiral butterfly float by as we were planting bitternut hickory acorns. It is hard to believe that these migratory butterflies are on the same migration wave as birds. Though everyone flocks to see the birds at Point Peele in the spring, no one seems to see these bright butterflies. Next to the Mourning Cloak, these are one of our earliest butterflies. If you want these beauties in your garden you will have to plant stinging nettle. Yes, this is their larval plant. And please, do not spray – be pollinator friendly.
We wrote this article in response to the launch of the Ontario Bee Health plan. Hopefully, everyone gets on board and tries to garden, farm and keep bees in a pollinator friendly manner. Please be sure to check out all our suggestions and enjoy your pollinator visitors.