Lo­cal dirt

Ontario Gardener Magazine - - CONTENTS -

An Oakville gar­den, and the land­sca­per who de­signed it, have been given spe­cial recog­ni­tion by the pres­ti­gious Peren­nial Plant As­so­ci­a­tion (PPA). Sean James of Fern Ridge Landscaping was on-hand in Min­neapo­lis for the an­nual PPA sym­po­sium to re­ceive an Hon­our Award in the landscaping cat­e­gory. Only five of th­ese awards were pro­vided for all of North Amer­ica in 2016 by the PPA, high­light­ing the in­creas­ing im­por­tance of bio­di­ver­sity fo­cused gar­den­ing through­out the con­ti­nent as well as the ex­cep­tional work pro­duced by Sean James and his team.

The An­der­son Par­kette Bio­di­ver­sity Gar­den – ‘ A Gar­den for Life’ – was spear­headed by Kathy Kavas­salis, co-pres­i­dent of the Oakville Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety, with help from the Town of Oakville and guid­ance from Con­ser­va­tion Hal­ton. Why did so many work to­gether to cre­ate this gar­den? In the words of Mrs. Kavas­salis, “In 2010, the United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly chal­lenged the world to take ac­tion to pro­tect the great va­ri­ety of life on our planet by safe­guard­ing re­gional species di­ver­sity.”

Ac­cord­ing to Mrs. Kavas­salis, "The gar­den now con­tains over 50 plant species na­tive to North Amer­ica. In the spring, painted lady but­ter­flies flock to the Pearly Ev­er­last­ing to lay their eggs and hum­ming­birds seek the del­i­cate red columbines for their pre­cious spring nec­tar (so im­por­tant af­ter their long jour­ney across the lake). Rab­bits start trim­ming the Blaz­ing Star as it emerges, mak­ing the plants grow bushy and im­prov­ing their stun­ning sum­mer dis­play of blooms. From our east­ern bum­ble­bee to the iri­des­cent sweat bees and jew­ellike syr­phid flies, pol­li­na­tors abound through­out the sum­mer sea­son. In the fall, Goldfinches can be seen dan­gling from cone­flow­ers as Monar­chs float from flower to flower prepar­ing for their jour­ney south. When win­ter comes, signs of mice and deer find­ing refuge can be seen. Bun­dled chil­dren sit on the bench and en­joy the beauty of grasses glazed with ice sway­ing in the chilly breeze. It is truly an oa­sis for life here in Oakville.”

Mr. James de­signed the gar­den, en­tirely of na­tive plants, to at­tract as many dif­fer­ent species of life as pos­si­ble, fo­cus­ing on pol­li­na­tors and other in­sects as well as birds. He be­lieves that any gar­den de­signed to pro­vide a so­lu­tion, such as a bio­di­ver­sity gar­den, rain gar­den, ed­i­ble gar­den or habi­tat gar­den shouldn’t look like a so­lu­tion, but rather be as beau­ti­ful as any other type of gar­den, if not more so be­cause of the dif­fer­ent pal­ette of plants that can be drawn from. Ap­par­ently the public and the PPA agree!

An­der­son Bridge Par­kette sup­ports bio­di­ver­sity while pro­vid­ing cit­i­zens with a place to re­lax and ap­pre­ci­ate na­ture.

PPA Award photo.

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