Sunday, March 13, 2011

Looking for Seeds

I'm always looking for seeds of native plants. Right now I'd really like Viola selkirkii or V. lanceolata seeds.....

A google search on these names didn't turn up any sources of these, no surprise. So I checked my favourite seed company, Gardens North, and no luck there either. The beauty of getting seeds from Gardens North, for me, is that many of the seeds Kristl Walek sells are collected in Ontario, so if she has them, I figure the plants will have a more-or-less local genome. Not that I am that fussy about that - I'm not planting them as a restoration project, just in my personal garden.

What I did turn up: the North American Native Plant Society, which is the somewhat-revived former Canadian Wildflower Society, has a seed exchange. I signed up as a member right away! Some mixed feelings about it, I must tell you. I was one of the first members of the CWS, and took the group very seriously. It was focused on Toronto, of course, but I had hopes that they would start chapters in other areas. They had a terrific magazine, Wildflower, and at one point they seemed to be growing steadily. Unfortunately, they made some bad decisions (yes, I squawked loudly), such as devoting too much of the magazine to plants from areas we Canadian types just weren't interested in, spending too much of their resources on the magazine to the detriment of any other activity, and, worst of all, renaming themselves the North American Native Plant Society. There would have been a roar of outrage, if they'd had enough members left by that point. I didn't renew my membership either and I guess they pulled back to only a small, Toronto-based club.Now they seem to showing new life again.

Their website (new) also mentions that they are having a plant sale May 7th. Wish I could go! But it's the opening day of my local Farmers' Market, and the day of a local crafts sale called Handmade Harvest and I'll be selling my pottery at both. How will I be at two events simultaneously? No, I haven't managed to clone myself - my long-suffering spouse will be at our booth at the Market. He's an excellent salesman - his Irish ancestry is a real asset sometimes!

I'll be looking for these violets this summer.They are listed as occurring in few locations where one can go hiking, within driving distance, and I'll focus on looking for them. Maybe, just maybe, I'll find them. Then I'll go back and hope for seeds....

And send some to the NANPS seed exchange. Maybe.

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