— by Shannon Hogan, January 19, 2023
It’s never too early to start planning your garden! Maybe this year you could plan to incorporate a native plant section amongst all your fruits, vegetables, and flowers!
Let’s start with the basics, what is a native plant anyway?
A plant that is native to the West Coast is a plant that has taken quite a very long time to evolve alongside all the insects, birds and animals that have always been here. They are not just used to the soil and the weather that occurs here on the coast, they actually love it and thrive in it. Insects (such as pollinating bees and butterflies) and animals have learned that they can eat these plants and have been using and consuming them for so long, both the plants and animals now heavily rely on each other for survival.
As we’re becoming more aware of the harm of invasive plants and all of the benefits of native plants, the demand for native plants is greater than ever! More and more native plant nurseries have opened up, making planting for pollinators easier than ever before! Be sure to check out Satinflower Nurseries (https://satinflower.ca/) if you’re in the Victoria area, or Streamside Native Plant Nursery (http://www.streamsidenativeplants.com/) and Natural Abundance Native Plant Nursery (https://www.nalt.bc.ca/native-plant-nursery/native-plant-nursery.html) in the Nanaimo area.
Whether it’s a whole garden or just a few planter boxes filled with pollinator-friendly plants, the bees and butterflies will thank you! Be sure to have a nice mix of woody and soft-stemmed plants and a wide variety of plants that will have blooms from spring to fall.
To find out more about the power of pollinators and planting native gardens, check out the following links:
- Native Gardening 101
- Bee Native Plant Cheat Sheet (pdf)
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