by Richard Allan
Fall 2002 newsletter
Luckily, following a wet spring in southern Quebec, the wildflower garden we sowed late in the summer of 2001 on Fauna's new chimp island was bursting with a wild assortment of colours by June 2002.
The wildflowers consisted of a variety of species of indigenous seeds, the most popular being coreopsis, purple cone flower (Echinacea purpurea), dame's rocket (Hesperis matronalis), wallflower (Cheiranthus), evening primrose (Oenothera), Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule) and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta). Unfortunately, these were all spring and summer flowers so we are still missing fall colours. To correct this situation, we obtained a wildflower seed mix from Vermont that was sown in late September 2002.
Amongst the newer species of perennials in this mix are multiple poppies and the seeds of flowers that attract hummingbirds and butterflies. We have also planted the slopes of the island with Crown Velvet, a tenacious flower, to prevent soil erosion. Happily, of the 25 trees planted in Spring, 2001, we have only lost one spruce.
The cow pasture has been retracted another 30 meters from the lakefront to prevent agricultural pollution of the pond. This abandoned pasture has transformed itself into a very successful pumpkin patch. New pathways have been constructed through the pumpkin patch leading to the chimphouse and this fall, after pumpkin season, this half-acre pasture will be replanted into a colourful assortment of new perennial shrubs and trees, the most popular being lavender, Japanese irises, wild roses, anemone, liatris, hostas and monarda.
Enriching this new forest will be narrow bands of wildflower along the fence lines consisting of alternate beds of Echinacea and asters.
The small marsh constructed June 2001 next to Pat Ring's house is now a huge success with a multitude of indigenous frog and snake species.
A team under supervisor, Anne Gardon, planted a garden of shrubs including sumac, Saskatoon berries and irises. Water lilies and wild wet grasses were also laid in the water along side the bulrushes. A new boardwalk over the marsh was completed in September 2002 to protect the environment.