Centennial College approached us earlier this summer to design and renovate an existing garden to become pollinator friendly! A pollinator garden attracts bees and provides a habitat for native pollinators. Bees are extremely important. In fact all creatures that eat plants depend on pollinators, and unlike the mysterious disappearance of the honeybees, many other bee species are declining due to habitat loss.
MPS’s commercial design manager, Mark, designed a pollinator garden by incorporating a variety of native, flowering perennials. He choose plants with different colour flowers, as well as plants that bloom at different times throughout the season to attract bees all summer long. The perennials that were planted in this garden include:
Purple Cone Flower
Autumn Joy Sedum
To create this garden, the MPS crew cleared the existing area and put in new triple mix growing medium. Centennial students helped to install the stepping stones and plant the perennials. By working on the project, students were able to learn outside the normal classroom environment. The new pollinator-friendly garden at Centennial College is now a flourishing habitat for bee species, in a mostly urban area.
Why create pollinator friendly spaces?
Bees pollinate ¾ of the foods that we eat
There is a loss of bee habitats in developed urban areas
Creating a habitat for bees and insects means they are less likely to move into a structure (…your house!)
They’ll help pollinate your fruit and vegetable gardens, increasing your yield!
Some tips for creating your pollinator garden include choosing perennials with lots of colour, especially blue, yellow, red and violet. It is important to choose plants native to north america that will thrive in this environment and create the proper habitat for native pollinators. Installation of ‘bee’ houses and water features can also help to attract pollinators. It is important to avoid using chemical pesticides near the pollinator garden, as the pesticides are detrimental to bees. Lastly, the most attractive feature for pollinators is a high density of plants.