Friday, 15 March 2013

In the Field

Despite the fact that the warm weather last week started my rhubarb poking up, it's still too cold and snowy to do anything garden-related outdoors. Definitely had my fix of green this week, though. We've had two field trips, Wednesday and today, to indoor green spaces.

Wednesday morning saw my class assembling at the corner of Baseline and Merivale, at what used to be the Nortel complex. After standing empty for a few years, it's now occupied by Agriculture Canada - very convenient, since it's on the edge of the Experimental Farm. Our tropicals/interiorscapes/green roof and wall teacher, Trish, has been involved with the indoor plantings there since several years before Nortel left, so she and her colleague Alex took us around and showed us the place.

They've got some pretty cool spaces. There's a semicircular garden which boasts a huge Peace Lily relative, among other things.

And a warm nook with a climbing fig up the walls, and towering palm trees.

And a water feature with fish in one of the ponds. The rock wall at the back has water trickling down continuously, and behind it is a biofilter - using plants and bacteria to process the fish poop, basically, and keep the water clean.

This afternoon we headed off to Richmond Nursery to learn about seeding and nursery production.

The first thing you notice coming in is the plants in the first greenhouse.

The second thing you notice is the cat - Taz is the official greeter. I don't know if this is a trend in horticulture, but I approve.

We prowled around the front greenhouses waiting for everyone to arrive, admiring plants.

Then we had a tour behind the scenes, learning about the planning and equipment involved in getting all the pots and flats ready that people will be buying in a couple months.

Automatic seeders plant 288 plugs per tray

Mechanical transplanter moves seedlings to larger pots

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