Local plants a focus for nursery

NANAIMO – Dozens upon dozens of native plants can be found at the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust's Native Plant Nursery in Cassidy.

Dozens upon dozens of native plants can be found at the Nanaimo and Area Land Trust’s Native Plant Nursery in Cassidy.

Stock for sale includes trees, shrubs, flowers, vines, ferns and grasses, some of which are edible and all of which can be found growing wild in the mid-Island area.

“There are a lot of native plants that are very beautiful, such as flowering shrubs,” said Gail Adrienne, NALT executive director, adding that people aren’t always aware of them when choosing more exotic plants.

For residents wishing to bring a little local colour and flavour – many of the plants that look good in landscaping are edible – into their gardens, the nursery has extended its hours and will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The nursery operation got its start when NALT staff and volunteers were doing some stream restoration work about a dozen years ago and needed some native plants to put around the bank, said Adrienne. After putting out a call to the community and receiving plenty of stock, the seed of an idea for a nursery was planted.

“It started as a small gathering of native plants in the back garden of a house we were renting in the Old City Quarter,” she said.

Then the provincial ministry of forests gave the group about 5,000 fir seedlings and with nowhere to put them, two Cassidy residents and NALT supporters, Peter and Anneke Van Kerkoerle, offered up part of their property on Frost Road in Cassidy. Six years ago, the group secured funding through a job creation program to build a greenhouse on site and a couple of years later, an edible plant demonstration garden was added.

Adrienne said the group is working to expand the stock available and the number of larger orders the nursery receives – in recent years, the nursery has supplied native plants for the city, the regional district and local developers. She said there are several advantages to choosing native plants over exotic ones.

“Native plants don’t need pesticides, they are adapted to the pests around here, and they also don’t need as much watering,” said Adrienne.

Popular plants include berries, salal, ferns and spring greens. While native plants are much easier to care for, the plants still need to be watered the first year until the roots get established, said Adrienne, adding that once established, people can go away for extended periods of time and not worry about the plants.

Adrienne said people should research which plants like sun and which like shade, as well as how big the plant is expected to get to ensure the right size space has been allotted before putting the plant in the ground.

She suggests stopping by to talk to nursery manager Susan Fisher or looking in resource books to find the information needed to ensure a plant is properly placed in your yard.

And if people don’t have room to grow these plants in their yard and want to harvest edible plants in the forest, they should not pick more than 10 per cent of the berries or greens in an area, said Adrienne.

For more information, please go to www.nalt.bc.ca or www.gonanaimo.com/nanaimo/nativeplants.html.

Just Posted

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

Most Read