The Prescott Journal - October 9, 2002
By Astrid Strader, Project Supervisor, Horticulturist, and Garden Designer
Returning the waterfront field to a more natural landscape will be one of the reasons the Heritage River Trail and arboretum will be unique and very attractive.
The trees and shrubs we will be planting over the next month are native to the St. Lawrence River basin and all have been selected for their beautiful, natural form. Therefore, until our arboretum becomes established, only minimal care and attention is required. For the first two years, regular watering, staking of tree trunks, and keeping the soil immediately around the base of trees free of weeds, will be required. No pruning will be necessary. The natural design also means no use of herbicides; wood chips will be used as mulch to protect from weeds and moisture loss, bone meal or compost dressing will be used as fertilizer.
Starting next week, the sides of the existing path will be graded, top-dressed and planted with grass seed so as to make it easier to mow on a weekly basis. This will also be done for the new crushed stone trail. Otherwise, the field will be allowed to return to meadow and wild flowers with out help on a twice-yearly mowing schedule.
In the weeks to come, I will highlight some of the native species we will be planting. For now, keep watch for the lovely downy (Amelanchier arborea) to turn to its brilliant red fall colour. This small tree or upright shrub would make a wonderful garden plant, bringing early spring colour with its white, star-like flowers and reddish-purple berries in the summer.