Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pollinators Part Three

My final post in the series on creating pollinator friendly habitats takes us out of our own gardens. Have you heard of guerrilla gardening? Guerrilla gardening is the act of gardening on land that the gardeners do not have the legal rights to utilize, such as an abandoned site, an area that is not being cared for, or private property. (Wiki)

Don't get too excited! I wouldn't dream of suggesting illegal behaviour to our fine members. What we can do is take note of areas in our neighbourhood which might be suitable for a few pollinator friendly plants. Then ask the owner if they would mind if you planted a few bulbs or perennial plants in the spot. The Suzuki Foundation suggests schools, churches, businesses and other institutions. I've noticed some businesses in town do keep an attractive planting around their buildings. They might not have thought about pollinators and be open to receiving some of your left over bulbs or thinned out plants.

The Suzuki Foundation has focused on habitat for the monarch butterfly. The monarch has not made it as far north as Powell River but with our changing weather pattern it may happen.  Although the foundation puts an emphasis on milkweed their suggestions are applicable to all pollinator friendly plants.They are asking people to take the following pledge:
  1. GROW milkweed and other native wildflowers in my yard and/or on my balcony
  2. REPORT monarch butterfly sightings in my community using #monarchwatch
  3. AVOID using pesticides or herbicides in my yard or garden
  4. CONTACT at least one school, faith group, business or other institution in my neighbourhood about planting a butterfly garden
  5. CALL local garden centres and nurseries to ask them to order native milkweed plants for next spring
Showy Milkweed is the species native to BC. It has invasive tendencies. Westcoast Seeds suggests and sells  A. tuberosa whch is native to and non invasive in Eastern Canada. Note-all Asclepia have toxic properties and can be fatal to grazing animals  In general mammals will only eat milkweed if nothing else is available but keep your chickens away from it.

Orange milkweed A. tuberosa


  1. Look for a butterfly garden to emerge at Evergreen ECU in the near future, and if you would like to get involved, contact the PR Garden Club.
    Orange milkweed tubers which will bloom the first year are available from West Coast Seeds. They will ship in spring which gives us time to plan.

    1. Glad to here about the garden at Evergreen.


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