Plants: The energy converters for the terrestrial, solar powered ecosystem.
Photosynthesis forms the basis of the food chain, converting solar energy into the energy that, stored as carbohydrates, feeds all of the other layers of the ecosystem. From hosting nitrogen fixing bacteria all the way up the food chain to carnivores, plants provide the carbohydrates that power the system. Plants manufacture soils, modify climates, store water and nutrients, cultivate and modify soil biology and form complex, interdependent relationships with fungi, bacteria, pollinators, grazers and a range of seed dispersers including insects and birds.
When we work with plants, the species we choose, where we source them, what we plant them with and how we care for them will affect the local and regional and global environment.
They are also beautiful, useful and fascinating to humans and incorporating them into our urban spaces helps to make happier, calmer and healthier and frames our experience of being outdoors.
Regenerative Planting Practices:
Degenerative Planting Practices:
Livelihoods in working with plants:
Information and online resources
Plants and People
Healing nature and ourselves through gratitude and action. A lovely article by Robin Wall Kimmerer
Weeding, writing and arithmetic… why green fingers are good for our children Guardian article on the importance of getting children back in to the garden.
TreesA soil calculator and native tree species guide developed to help improve tree planting success in Ontario and Alberta
A video on relieving deep soil compaction prior to tree planting (this was identified as the most significant factor in success or failure of tree planting along highways)
Lawns / Replacing Lawns
Plants, insects and other life
A design guide for street side pollinator gardens (Google drive document)
What All the Affection for Monarch Butterflies Misses A thoughtful article about over simplifying our efforts to protect and preserve 'nature'
A nursery guide to propagating native plants (ebook sold through kobo)
Groups and Organizations
North American Native Plant Society, committed to preserving native plant habitat in wild areas and restoring indigenous flora to developed areas.
Seeds of Diversity seed savers from coast to coast who protect Canada's seed biodiversity by growing it ourselves and sharing it with others.
The Native Plant Study Group (NPSG) is dedicated to learning about BC native plants as wild populations and in garden settings, and supporting the conservation and their habitats.
The Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) is a non-profit organization founded in April 2007 by a group of individuals and organizational representatives who saw the need for a coordinated provincial response to the growing threat of invasive plants.
Gaia College offers online and classroom education on organic land care and related skills.
Sustainable Landscaping Initiative Vancouver is a non-profit organization created by landscapers, which strives to improve industry sustainability.
Ecological Landscape Alliance "Advocating for responsible stewardship of land and natural resources in landscaping and horticultural practices." Based in the north eastern United States but with an extensive catalog of articles and online and recorded seminars available to members.
I Naturalist Connect with Nature Explore and share your observations from the natural world.