• Smooth Aster 
    It’s fall, the time for Goldenrods and Asters. For this month’s Plant of the Month, I will be covering Smooth Aster – a beautiful purply-blue, prolifically blossoming fall staple in the garden. One of the earlier asters to bloom in my garden, it signals the coming of autumn with its cooler temperatures and fall colours. […]
  • Campanulastrum Americanum
    Common Name: Tall Bellflower  I’ve long admired these growing in an old-growth forest bottomland near me, but only recently found them at a native plant nursery. I think they are far nicer than the invasive Creeping Bellflower, and wish they were more commonly available in garden centers. (As usual, the Plant Description and In The […]
  • Canada Lily 
    Some of the most popular posts on my Facebook page are the images of my Canada Lily (Lilium canadense). Technically not native to the part of Ontario that I live in (it could be classified as a “near native” here), it nevertheless thrives in my garden. Each year this plant sends up more shoots and […]
  • Butterfly Milkweed
    As I write this in mid-June, the Butterfly Milkweed in my southwestern Ontario garden is just starting to get an orange tinge to the flower buds. This brilliant orange flower loves sun and sand and its tuberous root (from which it gets its specific epithet – tuberosa) makes it a great drought tolerant choice for […]
  • Spotted Jewelweed
    Areas with a fair bit of moisture are perfect candidates for this beautiful annual flower, often found along shady stream banks and in low forested wetland areas. Long known for the ability of its crushed stems to cure the itch of mosquito bites or even poison ivy, its exploding seed pods are also a favourite […]
  • Caltha Palustris – Marsh Marigold
    Caltha palustris is a very early blooming wetland species that brightens the forest floor each spring. Its bright yellow flowers seem to almost glow on the damp forest floor. Plant Description and In the Garden sections, below, are courtesy of Shaun Booth of In Our Nature.  Common Name: Marsh Marigold  Scientific Name: Caltha palustris  Family: […]
  • Monarda Punctata – Spotted Beebalm/Dotted Horsemint
    Monarda punctata – where have you been all my life?! About 3 years ago I bought a small plug of spotted beebalm on a whim while visiting a native plant nursery. Little did I realize that this would soon rank in my top 10 favourite plants (and with over 300 species in my yard – […]
  • Wild Columbine
    I am frequently asked what my “favourite” native plant is. To me, that’s like asking a mother which is her favourite child. But invariably, when asked, Wild Columbine is the first to pop into my mind. I love how it is drought tolerant, produces abundant, easily collected seeds, and has amazing 2 tone flowers. It […]
  • Allium Cernuum
    This month’s plant is a member of the Allium family noted for its beautiful clusters of pink flowers in mid to late summer that attracts pollinators from far and wide. As a member of the onion family, the tender young stems can be used where you would use chives and the bulbs can be used […]
  • Helianthus Divaricatus
    As I write this, winter storms are threatening parts of the Great Lakes region, with snow and freezing rain forecast. So to help us escape for a moment from the impending winter, I thought this month’s native plant of the month should be the quintessential summer blossom. And what could be more summery than a […]
  • Plant of the Month: Pale Corydalis
    November in southwestern Ontario means frosts, the first snowfall, and not much left flowering in the garden. In my garden there is one plant – Capnoides sempervirens – that looks wonderfully delicate, but those looks are deceiving. This tough little drought tolerant plant is one of the last to keep blooming – some years I […]
  • New England Aster
    Who doesn’t love the purples of New England aster in the fall? These tall, prolific splashes of colour line the roadside ditches throughout much of our area and look so awesome growing with the bright yellow goldenrods and black eyed Susans. Easy to grow, even in a pot, this is a must have plant for […]
  • Helianthus tuberosus – Jerusalem Artichoke
    Fall is a time of food harvesting, and a few of our native plants have provided tasty nutrition for humans for hundreds if not thousands of years. One such plant is a member of the sunflower family, noted not for its sunflower seeds (of which it rarely produces any) but for its delicious roots. That […]
  • Coreopsis tripteris
    August in my garden consists of a lot of yellow, and a lot of tall plants. Coreopsis tripteris (tall tickseed) is one of the newer additions to my yard and is no exception to this. It doesn’t reach the lofty heights of Agastache nepetoides (yellow giant hyssop) or Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant), but it easily […]
  • Monarda fistulosa and Friends
    Without a doubt, the most active pollinator attracting plant in my garden (and with over 300 species of Ontario natives and a few near natives, that’s saying something) is Monarda fistulosa, aka Wild Bergamot.  While the flowers are blooming, there is constant activity with bees of all sizes – from tiny ones the size of […]
  • Blue Flag Iris
    Beginning to bloom in my garden as I write this, is one of my favourites – Iris versicolor or blue flag iris. Its glorious royal purple blossoms are a real eye catcher. If you have sufficient moisture, it can be a garden show stopper in June before the bulk of the colourful summer and fall […]
  • Blue-Stemmed Goldenrod
    Common Name:  Blue-stemmed Goldenrod          Scientific Name: Solidago caesia Family: Asteraceae (Aster Family) Alternate Common Names: Woodland Goldenrod, Wreath Goldenrod Plant description: Blue-stemmed Goldenrod has sparingly branched, arching stems that are green when young but turn blueish purple with age.  Leaves are alternate, elliptic-oblong (long and rounded) in shape and measure about 12cm long, 2cm wide […]