Helen’s Mostly Local Garden – Bagicha Bazaar

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My name is Helen Stephenson, and I have been gardening in the Halton Region of Ontario for over 20 years. For the last 10 years I have tried to plant mostly native species. I’m on the northern edge of the Carolinian Ecoregion, an area that makes up only 1% of Canada’s total land area but contains more flora and fauna than any other ecosystem in Canada. I believe it is my duty to preserve this little piece of heaven on earth!

The rain garden is planted with grass and plants.My husband and I put in a rain garden to deal with the occasional flooding that occurs during spring thaws and after heavy summer rains. We have a blue flag in this garden. (Iris Verschler, Zones 2–7), Turtlehead (Chilon Oblica, Zones 5-9) and switchgrass (Panecum virgetum, Zones 3-9).

A rain garden swale and a nearby pond surrounded by plantsWe also added a pond, surrounded by anemones. (Anemone canadensis, Zones 3-8), Cran Bull (Geranium maculatum, Zones 3-8), Monkey Flower (Mimulus rings, zones 3–8) and an Ohio buckeye tree (Aeschylus Glabra, zones 3–7).

Near the marsh marigold plant by the pondI took this photo of a marsh marigold plant (Caltha palustris, zones 3-7) in early spring.

An orange Michigan lily nods over a garden pondNow Michigan Lily (Lilium Michiganensis, Zones 4-8) are in full bloom.

Close-up of a pale pink columbine flowerElsewhere in the garden, Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis, Zones 3-8) are opening. . .

Close-up of pink prairie smoke seed heads

. . . While the beautiful seed heads of the prairie smoke. (Geome triflorum, Zones 3–7) swing in the wind.

In addition to plants, we find all kinds of amazing wildlife visiting the garden. I’m sure the gardeners took a keen look at the two overgrown apple trees in the background. The trees produce lots of apples, but every one of them gets disturbed by the wildlife that visits my garden. Foxes, the occasional heron, raccoons, many different species of birds, and more contribute to my small, thriving ecosystem.

I hope to share more photos later in the season as more plants begin to bloom!

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