L.E. Shore Library Courtyard Garden
BMPL recognizes the importance of native pollinators and has partnered with Pollinate TBM to refresh the L.E. Shore Library’s Courtyard Garden to include native pollinator plants that will support our areas native pollinators, like insects, butterflies, bees, and birds. The L.E. Shore Courtyard was selected as it is one of BMPLs most enjoyed outdoor spaces by our community at the Library. The gardens had also become a bit overgrown, and after a thinning had room to incorporate native pollinator plants. This would keep the familiarity and iconicness of this space, while highlighting sustainability and environmental protection.
About Pollinate TBM (The Blue Mountains)
Pollinate TBM is a volunteer-led initiative that's taking action to improve the native pollinator habitat of The Blue Mountains area. With native pollinator populations declining across the globe and area, the team is passionate about restoring these populations across the community. They share their expertise, connect with others in their community, provide informative resources, and collaborate across the municipality. Their goal is to improve the native habitats and pollinator populations in our area. Follow them on Instagram!
February 2022 - partnership established with BMPL and Pollinate TBM
April 2022 - Native pollinator plant selection and order
May to June 2022 - Thin and plant seedlings in Courtyard Garden
Summer 2022 - Present and record a webinar on native pollinators, and organize a Courtyard Launch Event to highlight the importance of native pollinator populations and tour the gardens with Pollinate TBM
What's In Our Garden
All of the plants selected are beneficial to bees, butterflies, insects and birds.
- Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) is a popular showy perennial with clusters of flowers that look like ragged pompoms. It has aromatic leaves on 2-5ft open-branched stems. Blooms from May to September.
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a bright yellow daisy-like flower with dark centres on 1-2 ft stems. Its oval leaves are covered with bristly hairs. Blooms from June to October.
- Culver's Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) has unbranched stems that grow 2-6ft tall, with several spikes of densely clustered tiny, white flowers. Blooms from July to September.
- Dense Blazing Star (Liatris spicata) is an erect, slender perennial reaching 3-4 ft with grass-like leaves that clump towards the base of the plant. It has shower flower clusters on tufted flower heads in a long dense spike. Blooms from July to September.
- Foam Flower (Tiarella cordifolia) has heart shaped leaves with spikes of white frothy-like star-shaped flowers on compact racemes. Blooms from April to July.
- Grey Coneflower (Ratibida pinnata) has dropping, yellow ray flowers with a greyish-brown central disk on a slendy, hairy-stemmed plant. Blooms from May to September.
- Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) has long lasting flowers with domed purplish-brown centres on 2-5ft stems. Blooms from April to September.
- Virginia Bluebell (Mertensia virginica) thrives in partial shady woodlands. Bluebells first emerge in early spring and have striking deep purple foliage. This great addition to any native garden is an at-risk species in Ontario. Blooms from March to June.
- White Phlox (Phlox paniculata) is a showy clump-former that reaches 3-4 ft. Its white flowers cluster on a stout smooth stem with narrow oval leaves. Blooms from June to August.
- Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricate) has loose, flat clusters with notched petals on stems to creeping shoots at the base. Blooms from March to May.
- Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) has showy, pink flowers on 1-3 ft leafy stems. Its flowers are in loose clusters at the ends of deeply five-lobed leaf pairs. Blooms from March to July.
This house is an ideal hiding place for butterflies to seek shelter in cold and wet weather. The twigs in the house help the butterflies hang on. On hot days, you'll see butterflies emerge as they enjoy the day.
Protecting Our Pollinators
Protecting our pollinators ensures that our ecosystems are resilient, biologically diverse, decreases invasive species, and increases crops and natural vegetation. Pollinators ensure the success of plants and wildlife survival. If you have any outdoor space, you can help protect our native pollinators by planting native plants! This is the single most important thing you can do to help, whether you have a small balcony or several acres.
What else can you do?
- Provide nesting or resting places for pollinators like a butterfly house, bug or bee hotel, and sources of water like a pool or birdbath
- Avoid pesticides and herbicides
- Diversify your gardens in size, shape and colour
- Mow your yard less, and participate in No Mow May. Leave dandelions to flower, as they are often the only spring food source fo native insects
- Delay spring clean-up so overwintering eggs and chrysalids have time to emerge. It's best to wait until it's consistently 10 degrees Celsius during the day, or Last Spring Frost
- Make friends with native insects and pollinators. Learn who's friendly and who's invasive.
Native Pollinator Resources
Find books available to borrow on these topics:
Websites to explore:
- Canadian Wildlife Federation Native Plant Encyclopedia helps you find information about native plants
- Pollinator Partnership Ontario offers ecoregional planting guides to help you select native plants for your area
- City of Guelph has pollinator garden designs for sun and part shade gardens and includes a plant list
- David Suzuki Foundation has resources on How to Attract Pollinators, How to Create a Butterfly Garden and more
A special thanks to The Town of The Blue Mountains for providing free compost and mulch for the L.E. Shore Courtyard Native Pollinator Garden!