Waterloo Region’s Native Plant Source nursery is the place to find native plants for beautiful gardens that support local biodiversity
Gardening is good for the body, mind and soul — and these days, more and more people are coming around to the idea that planting native plants in their humble garden may also help save the planet.
“Native plants are essential components of our local ecosystems and ecological processes,” says Jeff Thompson, an award-winning landscape designer and owner of Native Plant Source nursery near Waterloo, Ont.
“They are low maintenance and require less water, support local species of insects and wildlife, and discourage invasive species. It’s important that we do our part to encourage local genetic diversity to support species resilience and adaptation over time, protecting the natural heritage of our region for future generations.”
In operation for 20 years, Native Plant Source supplies perennials, shrubs, trees and aquatic plants grown from wild-collected seed from the Grand River watershed, as well as design, construction and maintenance services for homeowners, municipalities, property developers, and conservation agencies across Ontario and in the United States. While the focus of the business has changed according to market demand and the needs of individual clients, it always comes back to native plants.
Thompson creates beautiful low-maintenance gardens for people who want to spend less time in the garden and more time with their families, but still want a landscape that they are proud of that also supports other life, including birds, beneficial insects, bees and butterflies.
Native plants are also ideal for drought-tolerant gardens and for pollinator and butterfly gardens. More recently, native plants have been in demand for rain gardens and bioswales — special landscape elements designed to handle runoff or remove silt and pollution from surface water. They play a critical role in helping to prevent flooding and keep contaminated runoff from polluting the Grand River watershed.
Thompson also sells native aquatic plants for the “floating wetlands” he constructs for private ponds and for natural areas where municipalities are dealing with water quality issues.
Native Plant Source is open for retail sales on Saturday April 29 and every Saturday in May (May 6, 13, 20, 27). With native plants, there’s no need to wait until the May long weekend to start planting!
Native Plant Source is located at 1120 Wurster Place in Breslau (from Victoria St. N./Highway 7, turn south on Greenhouse Road and follow the signs).
Jeff Thompson’s Top 10 Native Plants for Your Garden include:
- Butterfly Milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa)
- Sky Blue Aster (Aster azureus)
- Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallid)
- Smooth Beard Tongue (Penstemon digitalis)
- Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)
- Common Blue-Eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium montanum)
- Prairie Dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum)
- Indian Grass (Sorgastrum nutans)
- Culvers Root (Veronicastrum virginiucum)
- Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea)
Want to plant a pollinator garden? Try these native species, available at Native Plant Source:
- Lance-leaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata)
- Pink Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)
- Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida)
- Foxglove Beardtongue (Penstemon digitalis)
- Indian Grass (Sorgastrum nutans)
- Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
- Big bluestem grass (Andropogon gerardii)
- Little bluestem grass (Andropogon scoparius, synonym Schizachyrium scoparium)
- Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
- Canada Anemone (Anemone canadensis)
- Stiff Goldenrod (Solidago rigida)
- Ohio Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
- Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta)
- Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)
- Grey Headed Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)