Monday, April 19, 2010

PEI Garden Show

What better activity on a cold rainy blustery day than to gather together to talk about gardening!  Sunday's weather left a lot to be desired but the Garden Show more than made up for that.

While the Garden Show ran both Saturday and Sunday I chose to attend on Sunday to see a couple of particular discussions.  The first demonstration I attended was from Paul Offer of The Doctor's Inn who spoke about organic gardening and compost.  Paul recently held talks on organic lawn care which received great reviews so I was anxious to hear him speak.  Although I sometimes feel like I know all I need to know about compost Paul proved that there's always something more to learn or simply a different way of looking at things.  His discussion simplified the process of composting from what can be a often complicated scientific explanation to something your 5 year old can understand.  Paul told us our  compost pile is like a living creature.  In order to survive it requires food, air and water.  Food is provided by kitchen scraps, leaves and grass, air is provided by turning your pile and then you add water.  There's absolutely nothing complicated about that!  And like any living being if you receive too much or too little of these items you will be out of balance and unable to function at your best.
 
My second lecture of the day was from Beth Hoar, who works with Parks Conservation.  Beth's topic was invasive species.  Did you know that Glossy Buckthorn, Japanese Knotweed and Purple Loosestrife are considered so highly aggressive that they cannot be disposed of in any compost bin? (and that includes municipality compost as well!)  If you are attempting to remove any of these species from your property they should be disposed of in plastic bags in the garbage or burned.  I also found out about The Lost Ladybug Project.  It seems our native ladybugs are disappearing and new foreign ladybugs are moving in.  To help biologists determine what is happening to the ladybug population you can join the project by contributing photos of ladybugs from your own yard.  We seem to have a ladybug invasion inside our home so I expect to be contributing to this project in the near future.

There were also many booths that attracted my attention but an honourable mention goes to Lovegrass Farm.  I have been considering the many ways to transform our acres of lawn into a more ecologically friendly atmosphere.  I want to step as far away from lawn mowing and watering as I can but I don't want to end up with a maintenance heavy landscaped garden either.  Lovegrass Farm fit right in with my vision of our home.  They provide field grown ornamental grasses and wildflowers from right here on PEI to transform that lawn into a proper ecosystem that will support insects, birds and animals.  They have no website at this time but look for them at the Charlottetown Farmers Market come May.

My other great find of the day was the PEI Rural Beautification Society.  This organization holds a competition each year for island residents in categories such as Farm Home Improvement, Flower Gardens, Tourist Accommodation and Trees.  For a fee of $15 you can enter your home and yard into any of the categories and win prizes anywhere from $100 to $1000!  Since we anticipate doing a lot of work to our home and garden over the coming years we will certainly be entering and the competition might just encourage me to push myself to get a little more done than I would have otherwise.

Overall a great day was had.  I learned something new and met some new folks.  If you didn't catch the show this time I hope to see you there next year!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marguerite,

    Found your blog through Blotanical.com. Looks like we both joined on the same day :)

    I live in Langley, B.C. and I've only been to PEI once, back in 1996, but I want to come out for a visit again - it's a magical place.

    Your acreage sounds beautiful - any chance of a future post with a picture of your century-old farmhouse? I'd love to see it.

    Abby @ Green Slate.ca
    Langley, B.C.

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