April showers may bring May flowers, and the beautiful gardens of the world are bursting into bloom. But for the rest of us, nature has a floral paradise of its own: beautiful wildflowers are only a walk in the park away. This week’s links take us on a tour of the flora waiting for us in the great outdoors.
Are you trying to determine whether that weed in your backyard is safe to eat? Or attempting to start a medicinal herb garden? Do you want to grow an edible landscape? This edible/medicinal plant database, from research organization Plants For A Future, is a valuable resource.
Sure, pollen can give you the sneezes or watery eyes, and insects can be great pests. But the two of them work together to ensure plant pollination, a process that is vital to a healthy ecosystem. To aid scientists in studying pollination further, conservation organization Seeds of Diversity has instituted a program allowing casual observers to participate in data collection. Click the link to learn more about how to become a Pollinator Observer and/or to download an Observer’s Manual.
Native plant gardens?those using plants native to one’s region?are growing in popularity as more and more people recognize the need to support our local ecosystems. Environmental organization Evergreen has fantastic guides for starting, selecting plants for, and maintaining, a native plant garden in your own backyard.
For full colour field guides to local wildflowers and plants, there’s always the library or the bookstore. Or, if you live in northeastern or north-central Canada, you could check out this online, interactive field guide. Simply run searches based on the characteristics of the flower in question to figure out just what You’re viewing. Enthusiasts in western Canada, specifically BC, might visit the University of British Columbia’s E-Flora BC site as a local alternative.