This boulevard garden features many of High Park’s native plant species, with a special emphasis on those found in our Black Oak Savannah – a rare remnant of the sand prairie systems that once covered much of southern Ontario. Started in 2001 as a joint venture of the High Park Stewards and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, this project also shows how native plants can be incorporated into a home garden.
By planting native plants in our parks and gardens we provide vital food, shelter and habitat for wildlife. Native plants are well adapted to local soils, precipitation and climate. Once established, they do not require additional water or synthetic chemicals to stay healthy, making them a sustainable option for our urban landscape.
Garden Care - Seasonal Maintenance
2022 Maintenance Schedule (pdf)
- Tidy beds: remove litter and excess leaves around plant stems.
- Remove dead plant material and prune broken or crowded branches.
- Weed out cold season grasses and invasive plants including: Garlic mustard, Lamb’s Quarters, Shepherd’s Purse.
- Add plants to build the native plant collection.
- Maintain the native plants, observe growth of the plants and their use by wildlife.
- Remove invasive plants including: Black medic, Lamb’s quarters, Crabgrass, Common Purslane.
- Prune and/or remove plants along the road edge, thin and shape plants as needed to promote growth and air circulation.
- Neaten the beds by edging the perimeter to mimic a scalloped line.
- Rake leaves and place around the base of plants.
- Remove weeds from the beds and any plants that may impact park visitor safety.
- Divide and replant taller plants to the parking lot side of beds.
- Plant more species to build the collection.
- Prune trees, shrubs and flowering plants where stems are crowding or touching and cut back floppy stems of grasses.
- Leave plants standing to provide winter interest, snow collection and habitat for wildlife.
clear away litter, keep curb edges tidy, remove broken branches
- review progress and plan for the next growing season
List of Native Trees, Shrubs, Grasses and Flowering Plants
- Bergamot Monarda fistulosa
- Black eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta
- Canada Goldenrod Solidago canadensis
- Canada Hawkweed Hieracium canadense
- Cup Plant Silphium perfoliatum
- Cylindrical Blazing Star Liatrus cylindracea
- Butterfly Milkweed Asclepias tuberosa
- Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca
- Evening Primrose Oenothera sp.
- Field Pussytoes Antennaria neglecta
- Grey Goldenrod Solidago nemoralis
- Hairy Beardtongue Penstamen hirsutus
- Harebell Campanula rotundifolia
- Hoary Vervain Verbena stricta
- Heath Aster Symphotrichum ericoides
- New England Aster Symphyotrichum novae-angliae
- Round-headed Bush Clover Lespedeza capitata
- Sky Blue Aster Symphyotrichum oolentangiense
- Smooth Rose Rosa blanda
- Upland White Aster Solidago ptarmicoides
- Wild Columbine Aquilegia canadensis
Grasses and Sedges
- Big Bluestem Andropogen gerardii
- Indian Grass Sorghastrum nutans
- Switch Grass Panicum virgatum
- Little Blue Stem Schizachyrium scoparium
- Pennsylvania Sedge Carex pennsylvanica
Shrubs and Trees
- New Jersey tea Ceanothus americanus
- Sumac Rhus anacardiaceae
- Serviceberry Amelanchier laevis