Gabriola seeds

Nursery News

The Weekly with Daly is a regular column about the musings of the nursery written by our in-house wildlife observer and passionate conservationist.

  • Apr 13, 2022
  • Julia Daly

NEW Program – MeadowMakers!

Join Satinflower Nurseries, Pollinator Partnership Canada, and City of Victoria to become a MeadowMaker! A seven-month program online (plus two field trips) that will guide you through the process of rewilding spaces with native plants of the Salish Sea/Southern Vancouver Island area such as yards and boulevards.

  • Mar 12, 2022
  • Satinflower Nurseries
  • Tags: botanyeventpollinatorsrestorationworkshop

Online Workshop: Gardening for Garry Oak Ecosystems Feb 3 7pm

Gardening for Garry Oak Ecosystems Learn how gardening with native plants can help maintain local biodiversity, including the wildlife that dep.

  • Jan 28, 2022
  • Satinflower Nurseries
  • Tags: eventhow to guidespollinatorsrestorationworkshop

Seed Sale: Special on Farewell-to-Spring!

Written December 10th, 2021 Happy Holidays everyone! Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia amoena) stocking stuffers on sale tomorrow during our 20% off plan.

  • Dec 10, 2021
  • Abigail Hyde

Meadow Restoration within Drumbeg Provincial Park, Gabriola Island

Written December 9th, 2021 By: Kristen Miskelly, Satinflower Nurseries Satinflower Nurseries has helped with meadow restoration within Drumbeg Pro.

  • Dec 09, 2021
  • Satinflower Nurseries

New Native Plant Garden at the Nanaimo Airport

Written December 9th, 2021 By: Kristen Miskelly, Satinflower Nurseries We recently partnered with our friends at Pollinator Partnership Canada to p.

  • Dec 09, 2021
  • Satinflower Nurseries

End of Season Sale – December 11th

End of Season Sale! – Saturday December 11th – 20% off all potted plants in stock

We are hosting our LAST sale of the season. Special price on all potted plants in stock. Winter is the ideal planting time for many potted species – they can put down roots through fall and winter making them even more resilient to drought stress in summer.

  • Dec 04, 2021
  • Satinflower Nurseries

We’ve got bulbs! Great Camas bare bulbs available now

Great Camas bulbs restocked! It is bulb planting season! Fall and early winter are ideal seasons to be planting bulbs. We have limited stock of beautiful, healthy mature Great Camas bulbs available for $6 each or 2 for $10 at flowering age.

  • Nov 18, 2021
  • Satinflower Nurseries
  • Tags: botanypollinatorsrestorationsale

Oct 30: Super Spooktacular Satinflower Sale!

We are hosting a Super Spooktacular Satinflower Sale this Saturday!

On October 30, from 9am to 4pm come by for a mug of hot apple cider, join the staff in costume if you like, and score some sweet sales 10% off all potted plants in stock. Plus 10% of the day’s sales will be donated to Pollinator Partnership Canada!

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Welcome to Sweet rock farm seeds! open-pollinated, heirloom, and unique vegetable seeds. all grown on Gabriola Island. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, Fast Shipping.

We’re a small-scale, farm-based seed company, located on Gabriola Island, BC.

We focus on growing top-quality seeds, which we sell at Seedy Saturdays in our region, in garden stores, and online. Our seed can also be found at the BC Ecoseed Coop, Wild Rose Garden Centre, and at Salt Spring Seeds. All of the seed that we sell is grown by us on our farm, or grown by a farmer on Gabriola and will be listed as such on our website. Some seed companies buy their seed in bulk from large corporate seed operations and resell it. We don’t. As well, none of our seed is treated, GMO, or patented. They are open-pollinated, and you are welcome to save the seed and grow it out on your own, should you choose.

We sell fruits and vegetables at our local farmer’s market and at our roadside stand, and we sell lamb, wool, and eggs. Currently, the animal contingent on the farm is ten sheep, twenty or so hens, and two horses. Having animals is more work in some ways, but it helps us maintain the fertility required to run our farm without having to import a lot of compost or fertilizer.

Gabriola’s invasive plants

Invasive plants are spreading agressively across all of British Columbia, and Gabriola is no different. The Invasive Plant Council of BC web site states: “Often mistaken for wildflowers, invasive plants are spreading through our natural ecosystems, urban landscapes, and agricultural lands at an alarming rate. Invasive plants are spread through several key pathways of invasion including increased international, national, and regional travel and trade; horticulture, gardening, and ornamentals; transportation and utility corridors; seed mixtures (re-revegetation, birdseed, wildflower); recreation; and wildlife, livestock, humans, and pets.”

The Coastal Invasive Plant Committee web site asks: “Did you know that invasive species are considered to be one of the greatest threats to biodiversity world-wide, second only to habitat loss? Or that in Coastal BC existing invasive non-native (alien) plant infestations are estimated to be in the tens of thousands?”

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The four worst invasive plants on Gabriola are scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius) in open sunny places, daphne, or spurge laurel (Daphne laureola) in the forest understorey, tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobeae) in sunny spots and along roadsides, and giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) in moist areas. Others include beloved plants like Himalayan blackberry, periwinkle, and yellow flag iris, and familiar garden pests such as thistles. This page offer some advice on how to identify and safely remove a few of the worst invaders from public parks, roadsides, and our own land.

Scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius)

GaLTT member Rufus Churcher has compiled all you need to know about one of Gabriola’s worst invasive species. Click here to read about the plant, how it spreads so rapidly, and how to eradicate it.

Gabriola’s regular broom-bashing

It’s always a pleasure to see the lovely spread of blue Camas lilies (Camassia quamash) and yellow Spring Gold (Lomatium utriculatum) blooming on the broom-free meadow. Also, a few garry oak (Quercus garryana) seedlings can be found in the grass where broom was pulled over the last few years. New broom seedlings are there too though, so it’s a constant battle.

All broom contains toxins that kill other plants, allowing it to take over areas. Wherever you see Scotch broom on public land, do the whole island a favour and remove it before it goes to seed. In May and June it’s easy to see because of its beautiful yellow blooms. Please remove it from your own property too.

GaLTT has special tools called Extractigators that help to pull larger plants up by the roots. There are two sizes, depending on the job. You may borrow one by calling Rob Brockley at 247-9467.

Joanne Sales from Nanaimo Broombusters gave Gabriola’s Gardening Club this advice in April 2013: Main message—It’s best to cut the broom while it is flowering.

Pull with Extractigators. Pull grass back over the exposed dirt to prevent light reaching seeds in the soil.
Lopping can produce fan-shaped plants that are more difficult to pull later.

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Daphne or spurge laurel (Daphne laureola)

  • Do NOT burn removed plants—it releases too many toxins.
  • Do NOT add them to a residential compost pile if the compost will be used on a vegetable bed.

The Commons team has done sterling work pulling invasive Daphne Laureola from their land, some of it really large. And they’ve discovered an added problem—horizontal branches can put down new roots and then send up a new shoot, as you can see in Don Smardon’s photo at right.

For more pictures and advice on managing invasive Daphne laureola click here.

Tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobeae)

Help eradicate it by uprooting and removing the plants before they go to seed. Use protective gloves and make sure you pull out all the root system so that it doesn’t regenerate. Bag the culled plants for removal. Do NOT leave the pulled plants on the ground where animals could eat them. They are toxic to cows, horses, and even goats.

A great way to deal with culled tansy ragwort plants is to just stuff them into a black plastic garbage bag and seal it. Leave them to compost in the sealed bag for a few months (to make sure no seeds escape) and you’ll get some good, pest-free soil for your garden.

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum)

It spreads easily and is hard to eradicate. It reproduces by seeds and from perennial buds at its crown. The seeds are adundant and long-lasting in the soil. This plant is a persistent problem in Drumbeg Park in the fenced area behind the public toilets, and can be found elsewhere on Gabriola.

WARNING—DO NOT HANDLE THIS PLANT! Its sap on exposed skin causes hypersensitivity to sunlight, resulting in blistering and dermatitis. Scarring and blindness may result.

Management strategy: Use protective clothing and eyewear . Cut off the flowerheads to prevent seed formation. Excavate the plants by severing the roots at least 8 cm below the soil surface. Dispose of plants in strong garbage bags. DO NOT COMPOST. Return to the site to check for regrowth—followup may be needed for 3 to 5 years. Chemical controls can be effective using foliar application in both spring and summer, or stem injection during heavy sap flow in spring.