The use of native plants to improve wildlife habitat, beautify yards and reduce the size of lawns is attracting a lot of attention these days. A wide variety of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and ferns can be combined to create everything from wild areas to formal hedges. On Saturday, May 5th, a workshop on Native Plant Landscaping will be held at the Macphail Homestead in Orwell.
Gary Schneider of the Macphail Woods Ecological Forestry Project will lead the workshop, which begins at 2pm. The tour starts with a slide show in the Nature Centre, offering some basic plant identification and a discussion on what varieties can be planted in different areas. Trees such as red oak, eastern hemlock and white birch lend themselves to many types of plantings where space is available. Taller shrubs such as American mountain ash and hawthorn are showy and offer excellent sources of winter food for wildlife.
Participants will learn which types of plants provide the best food for both wildlife and humans. Serviceberry and common elder are excellent choices for home plantings, as the berries are prized by birds and can be eaten right off the shrub or made into pies and wines. Ferns and perennial wildflowers also play important roles in native plant landscaping, as their beauty is a constant source of pride for the home gardener. Visitors will get a chance to look at the plantings at Macphail Woods and discuss some of their own landscaping situations.
Registration is not required and there is no charge for the workshop. The workshop is part of an extensive series of outdoor activities at Macphail Woods, a project of the Environmental Coalition of Prince Edward Island.