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News

Native Plant Gardening Project is Blossoming

Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) flowers are an important early spring source of nectar for Rufous humming-birds and bees. Photo by Chris Junck

Red-flowering Currant (Ribes sanguineum) flowers are an important early spring source of nectar for Rufous Hummingbirds and bees. Photo by Chris Junck

A sure sign that spring has finally returned to the northern range of the Garry Oak ecosystem is the appearance of Satin Flower, Indian Plum and Red-flowering Currant blossoms. The Back to Our Roots Gardening for Nature Project (BTOR) is in full bloom too! Thirty-three gardeners signed on to the program since January, which boosts the total number of participants to nearly 70 owners of 43 properties.

Indian-plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) is the first native shrub to flower in the spring on southern Vancouver Island. Photo by Chris Junck

Indian-plum (Oemleria cerasiformis) is the first native shrub to flower in the spring on southern Vancouver Island. Photo by Chris Junck

“The interest level in the program is growing steadily, and the new naturescapers are very positive about the information and advice they’re receiving,” according to BTOR Project Manager Chris Junck. “I’m very pleased that we already have four Green and six Gold certified properties, and there are participants from Victoria to Cedar.” The properties range in size from small lots to over eight acres, and are near parks and protected areas that have rare plants.

The project continues to flourish with support from Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, The Victoria Foundation, Capital Regional District Parks & Environmental Services, and donations from participants. GOERT is seeking more funding to expand the program.

For helpful native plant gardening resources and more information about the Back to Our Roots Program, click here or on the BTOR tab on the left side of this webpage.

Satin Flowers (Olsynium douglasii) are one of the earliest bloomers in the region. Photo by Chris Junck

Satin Flowers (Olsynium douglasii) are one of the earliest bloomers in the region. Photo by Chris Junck

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