The use of local (source identified ) seed and cuttings for use in local landscapes.
Southern Alberta – in all of its sub-eco-zones is a very unique area in which to attempt to grow plants for our landscapes. The area around Calgary, although classified as zone 2, has some particular weather and climate patterns which are unique to the region. The area is on the western edge of the Prairies / Great Plains and on the eastern edge of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. This geographic location leaves us with an interesting mix of attributes of the Prairies and the Foothills. We have the dry climate associated with the Prairies with open dry winters, spring rains, long dry periods in the summer and sometimes, but not consistently short periods of moisture in the fall. The plants that have evolved here to cope with this climate are able to withstand heavy
We are entering our new season soon – if / when the weather permits. This season is a very important milestone for us and Bow Point Nursery and hopefully all of the people we have influenced. This is our 25th season – hard to believe, but true. From hay-field to forest in a relatively short period of time – and really , 25 years is a short period of time from – or so it seems, otherwise, it wouldn’t have gone by so quickly. There have been lots of learning , lots of trials, lots of failures, lots of efforts, and lots of fun in developing the nursery. It started as a concept of providing better quality plants grown in a more sustainable method. As time went by the native seed source plants are the ones which grew , thrived and survived the best and most predictably. The focus changed
We do hear about the fact that we don’t post our prices. There are several reasons we don’t have the price list on the web site. The main reason is we firmly believe plant choices should be quality based as opposed to price based. We can not and have no desire to compete with the box stores on pricing. It is easy to compete with garden centres, box stores, hardware stores, or grocery stores on quality. Ask any of those who offer plants for sale about their seed sources – and you will be met with blank stares. Ask us about our seed source and you will be overwhelmed with the stories about seed collecting, growing seedlings and testing a multitude of plants within the nursery – all of our plants have a history, whether you want to
From ‘The Book of Trees’, Alfred C. Hottes, 1932
Why We Plant Trees
This time of year we hear this comment too often – What is on sale ?, What is special?, What can I buy cheap?
One thing you can always be sure of is that everything is ‘Special’. If you buy quality plants (or really any item you purchase) , you probably expect to pay more than a lower quality – how does that go again? ‘You get what you pay for’. This rings true for everything – from bolts to tools to landscape plants. I always say, if you can afford to be cheap, then do so – buy the cheap item – and buy often. Buy quality and buy once – this is most important in the purchase of plants – buy a better plant, and your landscape starts to grow sooner – more consistently. In Alberta, every year is valuable – we have short growing seasons and have to
Often times we start hearing that question – of course the corny answer would be – you can plant until dark, unless you have lights, then you can plant later.
The true and direct answer should be – You can plant until freeze-up. We are planting in our fields now – we just lined out 1000 seedlings. The myth of spring planting started many years ago when plants were only available as bare-root, before the containerizing and container growing technology was started. As with most new technologies, the residual effect of the previous methods carry over into the new technology – and becomes either accepted practice or long standing myths. This has happened with tree and shrub planting – and perennials – the perception is that spring is the best and only time to plant.
Let’s think about this for a moment, spring might not be the best planting time – is
Yesterday on a cold rainy day we decided to head up to Jura Canyon on one of our botanic plant identification, locate and photo tours. We are always on the search for new and different seed sources for plants as well as to check out the overall habitats and the potential for seed collection when the seed is ripe. I like to take the crew with me as an educational aspect as well – those who work with plants , grow the plants and chase the weeds for us are better informed about those plants if they get the opportunity to see them in their native habitats. All of those working with us this year are very keen on learning – plants, growing, habitats and how all of our plants work together to form these dynamic landscapes – those we design and build and those that nature has provided for
Here is an often heard question: Will the poplars wreck my foundation? I really don’t know how somebody can really think a poplar tree can break through you basement wall. Let’s think about that. They can grow in rock, but I have never seen a poplar root go through a rock – which would have to happen in order for a root to penetrate a basement wall. When I was young (a long time ago) we lived in an old house with a sandstone basement – the house had been built around 1890 – in a time when concrete was not a common element for basement construction. Our house was surrounded by old Cottonwoods (Populus deltoides), some that were four foot in diameter. If there was a situation in which a poplar could or would break into a basement,
I would like to invite you to come for a visit to the nursery, but need to clarify a few things – first of all, we are not a garden centre, so if you are looking for a main greenhouse / warehouse / store front, you will not find it. We are a nursery in the business of field growing seedlings and transplants for your landscape or naturalization project. Please park in the parking lot and come look for us – we might be at the potting area getting plants ready – or in the field digging. Sometimes there is confusion as to if you are at the nursery or not – if you drove down our drive, past our sign, you are there (here). Somebody will attend to you as soon as possible, in the meantime, please have a look around at the container plants – it should be
I wanted to write a book for many years. I have been taking notes and pictures for the last fifteen years with the idea of putting it all together and making it available, initially as a book, but now as a website. It has been great to go through all of our plants – Pam, Liz and myself worked on all new descriptions which come as a result of years of observations and research. We are excited to have it all put together in one spot, updated and ready to share. We are looking forward to having a vehicle to update information and express our opinions on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.
The work we do here is extremely important for creating sustainable practices for urban and rural landscapes and needs to be shared. We hope to use this website as a tremendous way to share our philosophy,