Melanie Priesnitz, Conservation Horticulturist
Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens
Imagine if this year, every homeowner in Nova Scotia planted two native trees in their backyard. This would give us almost a million new carbon sequestering trees that would help clean our air, increase biodiversity, provide habitat for wildlife, capture rainwater, provide shade, and help improve the mental health and wellbeing of humans. Imagine what could happen if these same people also planted native shrubs and perennials on their land; the benefits to people and the planet as a whole would be immense.
You can help make this dream a reality by attending the Friends of the Acadian Forest Native Plant Sale at the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens on Saturday, June 4. The sale takes place on the campus of Acadia University at 32 University Avenue from 9am to 12pm. There will be a wide variety of native perennials available that staff and volunteers have been growing in pots at the Botanical Gardens since 2019. These plants have spent the last 2 pandemic years growing strong roots and waiting to be adopted by new caretakers such as you! There will also be a wide selection of trees, shrubs, groundcovers, grasses, and perennials all native to the region available for sale from Baldwin Nurseries.
If you are looking to add new plants to your garden this year, we hope you will consider including native species. Growing native plants is a great way to give back to the earth that supports us. Humans today often forget about the importance of reciprocity and giving back more than we take from our planet. Since European settlement, the Wapna’ki (Acadian) Forest has changed drastically due to human disturbance and a disregard for reciprocity with the natural world. The time is long overdue that we make giving back to the land a priority. Choosing to plant native species is a simple way that we can do this. While there are many beautiful and useful horticultural varieties of introduced plants, they do not support the Wapna’ki Forest in the same way that plants indigenous to the area do.
For more information on some of the plants that will be available at the Native Plant Sale visit our website: kcirvingcentre.acadiau.ca/nativeplantsale/. Other vendors at the sale will include Helping Nature Heal from Bridgewater and the Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council. Please note that the plants for sale from Baldwin Nurseries will be available by CASH ONLY so visit the bank machine first! Friends plants will be available by CASH or CREDIT CARD and all proceeds support plant conservation and education projects. In the event of heavy rain, the sale will take place on Saturday, June 11. We look forward to welcoming you back to this popular event and releasing more native plants into the wild!