We are pleased to report that, with the help of Pacific Horticulture College students, we were able to plant the native plant meadow in late October, 2023.
In the spring of 2023, also with some volunteer students from the Pacific horticulture College, we prepped this underused green space with the goal of transforming this lawn area into a more biodiverse native plant habitat. To learn more about the background of why and how this project began please refer to our Spring Meadow Making blog post here: https://hcp.ca/meadow-making-at-the-gardens/
In between our preparation work in the Spring and the plantings on Friday, October 20th 2023, there was some maintenance needed. A reminder that while these spaces tend to need less maintenance, some maintenance and tending is still required.
There was a weeding session that happened before the Art in the Garden event in August.
Before August cleanup:
When we met in the Fall to assess the area we realized that there were some issues with the fencing on either side of this space with weeds spreading into the meadow area. Fortunately there was some room left in our grant budget to purchase a root barrier and dig it in and place it along the fence edges in an attempt to hinder the weeds' encroachment along the fence line.
Fence Weeds and root barrier pictures:
In the completed pictures you can view the wood chips that were spread along the edges to create an extra layer of weed protection along the fence lines. Stepping stones were then placed so that visitors may stroll through this habitat and see how it evolves over the seasons to come.
Much thanks to Tony Bobbitt (HCP Gardener and PHC Instructor)and Nathan Docsteader for doing this preparation work before planting day.
Plants and Plant List:
The meadow area location gets quite moist in the winter, and is very dry in the summer. Nathan and Kristen and the Satinflower team came up with the needed seed blend and the plants that would do well in this site
The plants and seeds were purchased in the Spring and were left in the hands of Linda and her amazing garden team to care for until planting time.
Here is the list of plants and seeds selected for this project. These were all purchased locally at Satinflower Nurseries (www.satinflower.ca)
Moisture Loving Pollinator Blend
On the morning of the planting Nathan provided an overview for the PHC students discussing this project, all the stages of it, the plants, and plantings.
I appreciated being reminded that there is the ability as gardeners, as Earth tenders, as co-creators, to learn more, to grow more and to bring some habitat back to what it may have been, but more so into what it will be for pollinators and wildlife. Then we quickly got to work. Many hands make planting more easeful!
Since this is a wild meadow area, and seeds would be spread after the plants were in the ground, this allowed for the random placing of our plants in the meadow area. No strict planting plans for this project!
To Conclude (for now):
Many hands, minds and hearts were involved in making this meadow a reality. This would not have been possible without the full support of the HCP Gardens, the Pacific Horticulture College, Kristen Miskelly and her amazing team at Satinflower Nursery, Lora Morandin at Pollinator Partnership Canada and of course the grant money we gratefully received from Toyota North America.
In particular I want to thank Nathan Docksteader of Coevolve Gardening and Horticulture Services (and a PHC Instructor) and Linda Petite (HCP Head Gardener) for their care, planning, coordination and commitment to seeing this project through to planting.
There is something about gardening with others, to see people coming together and caring about something like this. There was such interest from the PHC students and it was really heartening to see students excited about the plants and their potentially creating garden designs that include native plants.
This all started thanks to the MeadowMaking program headed by Kristen and Laura. We've had the benefit of learning from their program as well as other workshops guided by them. You can learn more about their 2024 MeadowMaking program here: MeadowMakers 2023 - Registration 2024 Opens Winter – Satinflower Nurseries
I hope that you choose to visit this space and see how this space evolves in the seasons to come.
On a personal note, I'm not going to forget, or at least I hope I don't forget, the excitement, joy and connection I felt in being a part of the transformation of this space. I am exceedling grateful to have been a part of this project to witness this all come to fruition.
HCP Garden Volunteer
Photo Credits: Nathan Docksteader