Or plants with many gifts: nectar for bees, seeds
for birds, food or medicine for humans
When you look at at stump, what do you see?
Debris for the city to pick up?
Or a home for many pollinators?
Eastern Commas, Question Marks and Mourning Cloaks survive the cold northern winter
as adults, often taking shelter in a woodpile or underneath loose bark
Bumblebees build burrows underneath stumps
scattered throughout my garden
When you look at unraked leaves, what do you
see? A mess to rake up?
Steven Severinghaus, Flickr
Or winter homes for bees and next summer’s
butterﬂies, moths and bees?
Luna moths hibernating in rolled up fallen leaves
Luna Moth, David Britton
When you look at holey leaves, what do you see?
An insect ‘problem’ to deal with?
Izabelle Acheson, Unsplash
Tom Murray, Flickr
Or a sign that your plants have attracted one of
many species of caterpillars?
Chickadees need 6000-9000 caterpillars to feed just one brood
When something is munching on your plants, they’re
contributing to the food web
quercus, betula, prunus, populus and salix family attract the most species
Larry Reis, Flickr
OrDo you try and cover all the bare soil in your
garden with mulch or plants?
Do you worry about how to ‘ﬁx’ the holes in a
patchy area of your lawn?
F. William Ravlin
Or invite in ground nesting bees & wasps by
deliberately creating bare patches?
F. William Ravlin
We’ve been taught to think in static classes: bug,
tree, ﬂower, chickadee
But it’s the interactions and relationships that count. The tree
captures sunlight, the insect chomps the leaves, the bird eats
the bug, and all this makes nutrients and energy cycle around
vigorously, creating niches, diversity, habitat, and opportunities.
~Thomas Christopher, The New American Landscape
Insects are our most important pollinators
Meet some bees
Canada over 850 species of native bees
8 wild bee species are listed as at risk
¾ of food crops, including tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers rely on insect pollination
squash is pollinated by the squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa)
Squash bees collect only cucurbit pollen grains; bumblebees
pollinate legumes; sweat bees prefer strawberries & blueberries;
mason bees help assure a good harvest of many fruit trees
Illustration By Elayne Sears, Mother Earth News
Mow less, fertilize less & water less to encourage
native plants to move into your lawn
wild strawberries, wild blue violets, trout lilies
What seeds are lying dormant? Try making space
to see if the native seed bank will recover
Photo by Clay and LimestoneImage Larry Weaner & Associates
The big shift
...in horticulture over the next decade is a shift from thinking about plants as individual
objects to thinking about plants as social networks--that is, communities of compatible
[beings] interwoven in dense mosaics.
Photo by Saxon Holt, PhotoBotanic.com
Thomas Rainer and Claudia West: Designing plant communities using layers
That gifts that were being offered was evident in the general hum and ﬂutter of
insect life. The meadow was audible with bees and crickets; the mowed grass was
silent. The meadow waved and nodded in the wind; crowds of leafhoppers leapt to
the brush of a hand. The lawn was deadly still.
~Sara Stein, Noah’s Garden
Photo by Claire Takacs of a Larry Weaner garden
“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.”
~Elizabeth Lawrence, A Southern Garden
Bonnie Kittle, Unsplash
A Flower Patch for the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee: Creating Habitat
Gardens for Native Pollinators in the Greater Toronto Area
~Friends of the Earth Canada
Bees of Toronto, City of Toronto Biodiversity Series
Best native plants for Toronto gardens, David Suzuki Foundationi
Meadowscaping Handbook, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District
Native plants for pollinators, Credit Valley Conservation
Prairie and meadow plants for landscaping, Credit Valley Conservation
Selecting plants for pollinators, Manitoulin–Lake Simcoe ecoregion
Timothy Dykes ,Unsplash