Monday, June 7, 2010

Native Plant Sale

Plants getting thin as they are bought up quickly. I was told that there were lots of early birds this year.

I have never missed the Native Plant Sale at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and have never gone home without a couple of plants. This year, I picked up Silverweed -Argentina anserina, which is said to have edible 'parsnip' tasting roots and edible leaves. I agree with the author that I have linked to about this comment: parsnip=chicken in the root world. I also came home with some Golden Alexanders - Zizia aurea. As a food source, it is a marginal, being listed as having edible flowers and maybe flowerbuds according to some sources. I planted it more as food for the black swallowtail butterfly - that is if they get sick gorging themselves on the fields of parsnip, lovage and parsley sticking out from every crack in the pavement around this house. Heck, who am I kidding, I just like potentially edible* AND native plants. That's why I bought it.

In a very small space, only slightly larger than the average backyard and certainly about the size of most urban lots, is a wonderful garden of native plants.

The turnout was good despite the drizzly weather. After a trip round the stalls, I wandered to have a look at their demonstration urban garden. They have a pond, rock garden and various wide, well planned perennial beds that sparkled in the mist. You can find this garden, along with the butterfly field and a pond (complete with a beaver dam this year) right across the street from the main entrance to the Museum of Agriculture, and beside the Arboretum. After spending some time in the pleasant walking trails, you too may be inspired to attend the sale next year and go native.

* Zizia aurea is occasionally listed as mildly toxic and certainly its root may be so. It is also mentioned in lots of edible flower lists but as it is a member of the Apiaceae family, I'd use caution.


Robert said...

I couldn't believe they ate that stuff when I first saw the size of its roots. Of course, at the time I didn't realise just how much our modern vegetables had been worked on by 19th Century breeders.

Window On The Prairie said...

I love native plants- much easier to care for.