Bees are amazing little creatures that have been around far longer than humans but now they need our help. As byproduct of industrialization and the overuse of pesticides colony collapse disorder has hit the bees and hard. There is something we as individuals can do to help the bees -start gardening. One person in Toronto has set out to document how she goes about designing her garden to help bees (and other insects) and share that knowledge with everyone. It’s a great site filled with some fun nuggets of information.
If you’re looking for some inspiration for your garden check it out. Her most recent post looked into why bees are amazing and how to identify them:
Over the summer, the native flowers we planted attracted a wide range of pollinators, including a number of native bee species. Using the City of Toronto’s useful (and well illustrated) resource, Bees of Toronto: A Guide to Their Remarkable World, I’ve done my best to identify these garden visitors in the photos below (hint: click the photos to seem them at full size). Once you start to look for these charismatic little creatures, they’re surprisingly easy to find.
Every pollinator is beautiful and there is an easy way to see more of them while helping the world: butterflyways. The concept is simple: bees and butterflies are under a lot of pressure from human activity so help them on their pollination journey by feeding them. All you have to do is look up what pollinators love in your local area then plant a small garden for them, then tell others. By combining efforts with other gardeners or community groups you can create a pleasant route for our little friends.
In May and June, activities ranged from creating butterfly-themed costumes and a bike-trailer garden that won second prize in a Victoria parade, to adopting city parks in Richmond. In Markham and Toronto, Rangers built on a project started through the foundation’s Homegrown National Park Project, installing a dozen wildflower-filled canoes in parks, schools and daycares. In Toronto’s west end, a pair of Rangers led the Butterflyway Lane art project, painting butterfly-themed murals on two dozen garage doors, walls and fences in a laneway facing Garrison Creek Park.
In late June, Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood and Richmond, B.C. surpassed the target of a dozen Ranger-led plantings, earning kudos from the foundation for creating Canada’s first Butterflyways. The project is spreading, with neighbouring city councillors and groups clamouring to get their own Butterflyways.
Canada Blooms is a competition to demonstrate one’s ability to display flowers. In the past it was based on the look of the arrangement done in a garden, now they are expanding how they think about flowers. This year they want people to submit rain gardens to the competition.
Rain gardens are preferred because they use water that falls from he sky instead of draining local aquifers or other finite sources. It’s good to see a Canada Blooms caring about the environment and hopefully they will become more conscious of nature with every year.
“Rain gardens are a brilliant concept,” says Terry Caddo, General Manager of Canada Blooms. “By creating some small adjustments in your home garden you can not only create a fuller, lush garden, but you will also help improve water quality in nearby bodies of water and ease the strain on our environment.”
Rain gardens are natural or man-made rainwater runoffs that allow storm water to be soaked into the ground and plants rather than flowing into storm drains. By diverting the water that would eventually drain out to local rivers, lakes or to the sea, rain gardens help prevent erosion, water pollution and flooding.
Space for a small garden can be hard to find for a lot of people in urban areas. Some French designers have modelled a new way to hang a garden from a window. Their design is simple and provides people with an easily accessible garden space and as a bonus, can help cool apartments and clean the air.
“Volet Végétal”‘ is a project that we thought for a Parisian design contest “Jardin Jardin” as an industrial product for people who are living in apartment deprived of gardens and balcony. Users have just to plug the structure on the outside of their windows. Horizontal position to enlarge a green view on the city land by trying to go further from the facade of the building and get more ornamental stand for plant. Vertical to create a shutter of light, a filter for green air and also for an easy garden upkeeping.