Ontario Nature Blog

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Tag: native plants (Page 1 of 2)

How to grow native plants to help protect pollinators

Credit: Colleen Dempster

Growing native wildflowers from seed is fun and rewarding. It beautifies your backyard in an ecologically-friendly way and can be done for little start-up cost and maintenance! Here are five simple steps you can take to turn your native wildflower seeds into a backyard oasis for yourself and the wildlife that visits.

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Let’s Support Ontario’s Wild Pollinators

brown-belted-bumble-bee-on-cupplant_sc-confirmed_diana-troya

Brown-belted bumblebee; Credit: Diana Troya

For most of us, the word ‘pollinator’ brings to mind non-native honeybees. Wild pollinators, however, are the most widespread and numerous of all pollinators. This includes native wild bees, wasps, flies, ants, butterflies, moths and certain beetles, birds and bats.

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Let’s plant natives!

diana's blog top photo sm

Imagine you are relaxing in your beautiful garden, enjoying the natural beauty, the sounds, the colors, the scents. Now imagine you could do all of this and contribute to the protection of native biodiversity at the same time. You can make this happen by adding native plants to your garden.

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What’s a gardener to do?

Bumble bee and honey bee on butterfly milkweed. Credit: Martin LaBar

Bumblebee and honey bee on butterfly milkweed. Credit: Martin LaBar

Much of the discussion around neonicotinoids focuses on agriculture, but the horticulture industry also uses these chemicals. In a 2014 Friends of the Earth study of flowers for sale at garden centres in Canada, more than 50 percent of the tested plants contained traces of at least one neonicotinoid. Most shocking was that many of these contaminated plants were labelled “bee-friendly”.

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Nearby nature reserves

In her article in the spring 2015 issue of ON Nature, Lorraine Johnson demonstrates how neighbours are creating pollinator habitat and restoring ecological connections in towns, suburbs and cities across the province. She provides the example of Palmerston Square Pollinator Patch – a small but diverse community garden that took root in west Toronto in 2014 and has spawned the creation of two similar gardens nearby.

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