A note on the plantings

We can look at the landscaping in many different ways. We tend to see first from our own human perspective, but humans are only one element in this complex urban ecosystem of birds, animals, and insects. All the plants, trees and shrubs have been chosen for their hardiness, for their ability to thrive in an urban environment, and in our particular climate zone.  They will be beautiful – pleasing to the eye, not just as individual plants, but in the way they are arranged, the varieties of texture and colour through the seasons. In the summer they will offer shade. They will connect us to our neighbourhood – Wolseley is well known for its unique gardens, and what was once a somewhat forbidding exterior, and subsequently a vacant lot, will now be better integrated into the surrounding community.

Our gardens will provide habitat and be a source of nectar for bees and other pollinating insects. Some will be food plants for butterfly larva. The many fruit trees and shrubs, and the seed heads of the flowers will offer natural food for birds. The trees themselves will offer shelter and nesting habitat. Last, but not least, a pesticide/herbicide free garden will allow the complex microorganisms which are integral to soil health to thrive.

I have spent some time researching the trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses and vines that were chosen by our landscape architects.  I’m interested in their cultural meaning and medicinal significance, their many and varied uses.  This document shows some of that which I have learned.  I have not included all the medicinal uses, as they need to be prepared by someone with long experience of their collection and preparation.  Some of the plants can be toxic if prepared incorrectly.

— Barbara Barnett