The Nursery Beginnings
The Mayne Island Conservancy began a native plant propagation program in the spring of 2011. Having a ready supply of local native plants is a key component in completing our ecosystem restoration projects on Mayne Island. In addition, native plants are growing in popularity with home gardeners, and for good reason. With so many beautiful plants native to Mayne Island, there are endless options for gardeners looking to connect their home gardens with the natural world.
Conservancy Executive Director Michael Dunn kindly allows us to use a fenced area in his yard for the nursery, and lends a hand in caring for the plants. We doubled the nursery’s growing area in the late spring of 2013.
The plants we grow are used in restoration of community parks such as Henderson Park, and are available for sale to land owners wishing to use native plants in their home gardens or restoration projects. Plants and seeds are sold at our bi-weekly attendance at the Farmers Market throughout the summer. These offerings have been so well received that they can purchased at the Mayne Island Building Centre (Home Hardware) too. All plants are started from seeds or cuttings collected on Mayne Island. We water our plants with rain water from Michael’s collection system, and incorporate natural organic matter into our growing medium in order to avoid the use of artificial fertilizers.
We are currently growing 2,500 individual plants from 34 different Mayne Island species. A number of factors determine which plants we try to grow including their suitability for use in restoration of natural areas, attractiveness to home gardeners, and whether or not they can be successfully grown using the tools at our disposal.
Please contact our staff biologist Rob Underhill for information on plant sales. The selection of species ready for sale changes over time. We are happy to provide advice on planting time and location on request, as well as post planting care.
Some species grow quickly to maturity within a single year while others such as Camas can take up to seven years to reach maturity! Most species take about two years to grow from seed or cutting to a stage where they are ready for planting. If you are interested in growing native plants yourself we are happy to answer questions or provide advice.