This time of year traditionally brings a feeling of rebirth and renewal. Gardens are an excellent way to create a private and uplifting outdoor space. Keeping in mind the ability to follow some of these suggestions may change in the coming weeks, here are some city garden ideas that can help butterflies, bees and you too.
Don’t Rush to Clean Up
If you have a garden, you’re probably looking at the mess from winter and thinking about cleaning it up. Did you know there is an optimal time to do this? Many important insects including bees hibernate in dead flower stems, leaf debris and even the soil over the winter. Experts recommend waiting until it is consistently above 10 degrees Celsius before cleaning up, so they have a chance to emerge for the season. Learn more here.
Build a Beautiful Bee Garden
If you are creating a garden or looking for new ideas this year, why not create an oasis for bees and other pollinators by planting a bee garden. Get valuable information from the Butterflyway Project and The Honeybee Conservancy. The more flowers the better, but learn which flowers are the most easily accessible and produce the most nectar. If possible, plant your garden to bloom at different times so there are always flowers available for insects and humans to enjoy. Choose natural pesticides and fertilizers to keep them healthy and safe. In particular, avoid neonicotinoids. You could even consider building a bee bath or leaving some soil uncultivated to provide homes for burrowing bees. Learn how.
Gardens in the City
According to the David Suzuki Foundation, cities may hold the key to reversing the bee decline. It’s not just bees, other kinds of insects are also at risk. The good news is that studies show they can thrive when given gardens that provide much-needed food and shelter. From thoughtfully planned city parks to your tiny urban balcony or rooftop garden, every little bit helps.
Let’s Stay Connected. Show Off Your Gardens
We would love to see the beautiful gardens you create and hear how they are helping you enjoy the outdoors in your own space.