Native plants will provide the greatest ecosystem services to restore balance to the landscape. There are excellent choices for all types of growing conditions that are also beautiful and resiliant. Be sure to use the botanical name to locate selected plants/seeds.
Growing from Seed
Native perennials are easily grown from seed. One method to consider it to use ‘winter sowing’ . Most native plant seeds will require a period of cold/moist stratification (similar to winter conditions). This can be done by planting into containers which are set outside in early winter. Seedlings will emerge in spring. These may need time to mature before planting into your garden. You can source seeds from: Seedy Saturday events (often held in winter), fellow gardeners and commercial online sites (ie. Wildflower Farm and Ontario Native Plant Nurseries)
Purchasing Plants from Nurseries
There are a growing number of specialized native plant nurseries in our region. These plants are not mass produced but are grown from carefully selected and sourced seed. Often they are sold as very small plants (i.e., plugs or only with a couple years of growth). While still small, these plants are mighty and sometime establish into a new garden more easily than very mature plants. Call ahead to check that the plant is available and the hours open to the public. Some nurseries (ie., Ontario Native Plants & Origin Native Plants) provide delivery of live plants.
Cultivars or Hybrid Plants
There may be some cultivars of native plants included in your design. These are usually chosen for size or form (i.e., dwarf, weeping or columnar/narrow form). These are usually available at larger nurseries (i.e., Connon Nurseries, Harpers, Terra etc.). Sometimes specific cultivars are unavailable due to their popularity or because they are discontinued. If you need to substitute a plant, choose one with similar attributes. (for ex.: similar height and spread; by type: shrub/tree, deciduous/evergreen etc.