On Wednesday evening, 17 volunteers gathered together to plant the first section of Butterfly Wing Garden, our new pollinator patch at Oak Park. The volunteers included members of the 1st AFC Cub Scouts group, folks from the Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House volunteer team, and residents from around Oakville.
The site, which was first stripped of sod by the Town of Oakville, was planted with 81 plants comprised of 16 different pollinator-friendly species, most of which are native to the region. The species list and planting plan were created with input from Sean James, of Sean James Consulting & Design, Cathy Kavassalis, Master Gardener, and Brenda Van Ryswyk, of Conservation Halton. Here’s what we planted in the garden:
- Butterfly milkweed – Asclepias tuberosa
- Wild geranium – Geranium maculatum
- Virginia mountain mint – Pycnanthemum virginianum
- Anise hyssop – Agastache foeniculum
- Wild strawberry – Fragaria virginiana
- Sky blue aster – Symphyotrichum oolentangiense
- Blue false indigo – Baptisia australis
- Black eyed Susan – Rudbeckia hirta
- Foxglove beardtongue – Penstemon digitalis
- Smooth aster – Symphyotrichum laeve
- Pale purple coneflower – Echinacea pallida
- Coastal plain Joe Pye weed – Eutrochium dubium ‘Little Joe’
- Dense blazing star – Liatris spicata
- Little bluestem – Schizachyrium scoparium
- Switch grass – Panicum virgatum
- Indian grass – Sorghastrum nutans
While this is the first planting event organized for the garden, it is certainly not the last. The larger ‘wing’ of the garden is being solarized over the summer, and we will begin planting it in the fall. Pollinator plants are also slated to be added to the community garden nearby. The end result will be about 700 square feet of pollinator habitat that will support a diversity of native pollinators, including bees, butterflies and birds.
In addition to supporting local biodiversity, we hope the patch will serve as an inspiration that will encourage more Oakville residents to create pollinator habitat in their own backyard. By creating an appealing space that can be visited by Wellspring House visitors, community gardeners and neighbours, the garden will demonstrate that native plants can be both functional and beautiful! It will also be a great spot for education and citizen science – in fact, we already visited the site as part of our How to Plant a Pollinator Patch workshop series this spring.
Like any garden, our new Butterfly Wing Garden will need regular maintenance, particularly as it is getting established in its first couple of years. We are looking for volunteers to be Garden Stewards and help us with the weeding and watering of the garden over the summer. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This project would not have been possible without help from the Town of Oakville, Wellspring Birmingham Gilgan House, Sean James, Kathy Kavassalis, Brenda Van Ryswyk and our many volunteers, as well as funding from Landscape Ontario. We thank everyone who has been involved in making this project a success!
You can visit our Butterfly Wing Garden at 2545 Sixth Line in Oakville (parking available on Hays Blvd). For more information, contact email@example.com.
Learn more about supporting pollinators in Oakville HERE.
This project was generously supported by: