(Metro Creative Connection)

(Metro Creative Connection)

Native plant workshop for local gardeners

Lacombe County and ALCLA Native Plants have teamed up to offer an online, native plants workshop for Lacombe area green thumbs on May 5.

Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed, owner of ALCLA, said that the workshop will provide an overview of growing native species whether it’s for a garden bed, lawn replacement or restoration project.

“We will be discussing what native species are, as well as the benefits of planting them. We will look at growing techniques including growing from seed and how to successfully establish container-grown native plants,” said Pelletier-Ahmed

The workshop will also explore a selection of grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs native to Alberta and discuss their growth requirements.

Pelletier-Ahmed said that lately gardeners and landscapers are looking for more conservation-based options in their personal gardens.

“A lot of people are looking to support native pollinating insects like butterflies and bees as well as the wildlife that depends on them such as birds and bats, all of which are facing significant decline due to habitat loss,” said Pelletier-Ahmed.

“Other folks are looking to create low-maintenance, drought-tolerant perennial garden beds or alternative front lawns that won’t require mowing, watering, fertilizers, or pesticides.”

She said native species of plants in Alberta can be the answer to both of those things.

“They also offer a much broader spectrum of colours, forms, and flowering times compared with conventionally introduced garden plants.”

Native plants can also offer year-round options.

“One can create arid gardens or winter gardens. There is a lot of potential for innovation as this area of horticulture is just in its infancy in Alberta.”

Many native species are also traditional food plants.

“Some people might be familiar with berries such as raspberries and saskatoon, but there are a lot of great hardy unconventional species that can be incorporated into a food garden such as nettle, fireweed, ground plum, or strawberry spinach.”

The Alberta Native Plant Council at anpc.ab.ca and alclanativeplants.com have further information for gardeners wanting to explore native plants further.

Registration information for the workshop can be found at lacombecounty.com.

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