It’s 2023 and thanks again to TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF), Islington United Church received a second grant that enabled us to plant a native shade garden at the church. (Last year we planted two native sun/shade gardens.) Our overall goal is to revitalize an under used area to create a peaceful green space that invites our congregation and neighbours to visit for quiet reflective time, or gather in fellowship. It is also our objective to restore wildlife ecology and habitat, including pollinator plants to support bees and butterflies. The gardens have already provided opportunity for education about the importance of native plants and shifting to this type of gardening.
1. We focused on a neglected corner adjacent to our 2022 gardens consisting of non-native hosta plants.
2. Hostas, grass and weeds were removed and the soil was remediated using organic soil and worm castings.
3. Having fun digging and planting in the shade. It’s a team effort!
4. Spreading mulch around the seedlings.
5. The seedlings are planted - wood poppy, large-leaved aster, eastern wild columbine, wild geranium, bottlebrush grass, Jacob’s ladder, thimbleweed, zigzag goldenrod, white wood aster and heart-leaved aster.
6. Tending to our 2022 native plant garden. It has thrived beyond our expectations with 2-legged, 4-legged, 6-legged and winged visitors.
Our “Indigenous Heart Garden” was made possible by the generosity of TDFEF grant, as well as donations from Scott’s Canada mulch and Miracle-Gro organic soil. Thank you!
Gratitude is also owed to those whose enthusiastic support made it possible to translate this grant into a viable new home for native plants and habitat. Your encouragement, assistance and support were much appreciated.
Special thanks to:
Donna Lang of Faith and the Common Good
Douglas Counter, Etobicoke-based Block Ambassador with Project Swallowtail
Peter Ewins of Heavenly Fusion Gardens
Islington United Church staff, members and volunteer gardeners.
Submitted by Lorraine McCarthy and Steve Tower, Islington United Church members. August 2023.