First and foremost – we are beekeepers. For as long as I can remember, bees and pollinators have been part of our lives.
We were establishing a home bee yard and looking to enhance the plant and tree diversity of the site. With Latin, botanical name in hand we purchased trees and shrub stock from our local nurseries. Within years a good portion of these trees and shrubs had died. Our first hard lesson was learned – a Latin, botanical name just ensures you are getting that specific plant. The Latin name does not indicate origin of the seed. A plant grown from a seed collected in your area will have a superior survival rate than a plant imported from outside your growth zone or from the States.
This is why we started our nursery business. It was next to impossible to find Carolinian or native stock from seed collected in our area at our local nurseries.
We hand collect and grow all our stock strictly from seeds we collect. All seed collection locations are clearly listed. We do not buy any stock or seeds, except for special reintroduction programs. Of course, this means that availability of stock changes dramatically year by year. Adverse weather, such as drought, cold snaps or cold springs affects flowering and seed set.
Our passion is to increase the biodiversity of the southern Ontario landscape by offering local, native stock. A lot of our stock are Carolinian, endangered or uncommon larval pollinator plants that have disappeared from the landscape. These native species were a natural component of the landscape and need to, again, be a part of it.
Our catalog of plant stock is unique and will be evolving since we are constantly searching for new seed sources. We are striving to grow stock from original (not planted) and ancient stock. In this way, we are preserving the rich genetic base of Ontario plants.
Our pricing reflects our dedication to the environment. Harder to grow, or seeds of species harder to find are priced the same as easily available. We do not want pricing to be a detriment to having uncommon species planted.
Our Philosophy on Growing Trees
GROWING TREES FOR A CHANGING CLIMATE
WIND ACTION ON TREES
We recognize we must nurture the growth of a more adapted tree in response to our rapid climatic changes. Trees and shrubs will have to withstand more severe wind events and more extreme variability of weather. Our efforts include allowing trees to respond to wind load and stimuli by not staking our tree stock. Yes, you guessed it. The trees aren’t perfectly straight but are much stronger and ready for an uncertain windy future. To see the full story see our wind on trees story.
‘ The tree that never had to fight
for sun and sky and air and light.
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby King.
Good timber does not grow with ease
The strong wind, the stronger tree
The further the sky, the greater length
The more the storm, the more the strength
By sun and cold, by rain and snow
In trees and men good timber grows. ‘
GROWING STRONGER TREES
Mycorrhizal Soil inoculation
All of our stock – trees, shrubs, vines and wildflowers are inoculated with natural soil fungi. Natural symbiotic relationships occur between both plant and fungi where both prosper and live in harmony without use of fertilizers. Plants become hardier and more prepared for our variable and changing climate. To see the full story see our fungi article.
GROWING DIVERSIFIED TREES
Assisted tree migration program
We have launched our program and have increased our diversity of seed collection, especially southern sites. We will now be able to offer blended provenances for species. With every passing season, we will expand our seed collection sites to offer maximum genetic diversity. To see the full story see our assisted tree migration articles.