Ensuring a continuous succession of blooms from spring through fall provides a steady supply of nectar and pollen for wildlife.
David Lapen, Senior Research Scientist, Canadian Experimental Farm, Agriculture and Agr-Food Canada,
was invited to make a presentation about Pollinators and Biodiversity to Stittsville Rotary as the club is considering creating pollinator gardens in the WJ Bell Rotary Peace Park at 1751 Stittsville Main Street South.
He challenged the club to create Biodiversity Gardens:
  • A garden that insects of all sorts can benefit from…
  • A garden that soil fauna can proliferate in…
  • A garden that birds and small animals can utilize…
  • A garden that native plants can thrive in…
David outlined the basic process where pollen from a flower's anthers (the male part of the plant) rubs or drops onto a pollinator (insect, bird, mammal). The pollinator then takes this pollen to another flower, where the pollen sticks to the stigma (the female part). The fertilized flower later yields fruit and seeds.
He then described the necessary steps in creating a pollinator garden that will have a continuous succession of blooms from spring through fall, providing a steady supply of food for wildlife:
  1. Assess the health of the soil.
  2. Look to see how nearby lands are being used, hopefully they are natural habitats.
  3. Prepare the site for gardening and reduce weeds by tilling, smothering, and sod cutting
  4. Pros and cons of seeds and container grown plants.
Strategies for increasing biodiversity include using bird baths, stepping stones and bee hotels as well as diverting rain-off to create a rain garden. David offered free soil sampling, and a tour of the Experimental Farm, to club members.  He has provided links to useful resources for successful gardening.
For more information about Pollinators and Biodiversity, contact david.lapen@agr.gc.ca