Sunday, July 11, 2010

Healthy Yards Survey

As a previous Healthy Yards Program participant, I was recently asked to complete a survey. I'm happy to report that I really really LOVE this program. I first learned of this very worthwhile program in the local newspaper back in the Spring of 2008 and was excited to take part in it. However, as I recalled, I signed up too late and was shut out of purchasing the Native Planting Kit for that year.

It didn't matter because I ended up attending the event anyways which was open to anyone. And a good thing too because I played one of their games and won a prize!!! The game I played was to match up pictures of leaves to the trees they came from. Since I got all the answers right, I won the right to choose any plant I wanted in the Games Area. Luckily for me, one of the plants available to be won was a White Birch. It was the one of the BEST prizes I ever won!!!

So in the Spring of 2009, I made sure to place my order for the Native Planting Kit bright and early and I ended up with a Red Dogwood Bush, a Black Raspberry Plant and some assorted native wildflowers, all for under $30.00. I managed to plant everything except for some native grasses and some of the yellow wildflowers. Grass and yellow flowers aren't my favourite plants. After planting all my favourites in my front and back yards, I'm proud to say that thay have all survived and look beautiful! What a fantastic way to green our gardens, by planting "easy to grow and maintain" native plants.

It's nice to see that the butterfly garden I started many years ago has even more native wildlife added to it.

Here's the Wild Bergamot planted in 2009

More assorted wildflowers from 2009

The Bergamot with its very pretty flower in full bloom in 2010

Some lovely bluebells poking out among my snow-in-summer plants (2010)

More assorted purple wildflowers popping out of my front garden in 2010. Can you tell purple is my favourite colour theme?

In the back, I planted the Red Dogwood Bush.

Here it is a year later. It's suppose to be very striking looking in the winter time with its redwood twigs showing up against a snowy white backdrop.

The Dogwood with some new buds.

The buds turn into dainty little clusters of white flowers

Then these lovely white berries form. They are so cute, but alas, are not edible.

Here's the Black Raspberry Bush, freshly planted in 2009.

Yay, we have a bunch of edible raspberries growing the following year. We picked them as soon as they turned totally black. Yummy!

These are the plants I didn't bother planting.

Here's the White Birch Prize I won back in 2008. Just a little thing back then.

The Birch grew up to my height the following year in 2009.

In 2010, it really took off and now is at least 2 feet taller than me!

The grasshopper seems to prefer our driveway to the grass. Maybe he's sunning himself?

A black & white butterfly visiting my garden. Poor thing looks pretty beat up with a bit of its wing being chewed off.

A beautiful damselfly sitting on a jasmine plant.

Some Burgundy and Blue Leaf Hoppers playing hide and seek on the milkweed plant.

A rather thirsty Monarch butterfly taking a sip from the purple cone flowers.

After a nice refreshing drink, the Monarch is ready to lay some eggs on the milkweed.

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