21st GREAT GARDENING WEEKEND

Creating a Pollinator Garden
This year’s event, from May 25 to 27, is on the theme of pollinator gardening. There will be some 65 exhibitors at the 2018 Great Gardening Weekend, all keen to share different plant varieties, nature-based items, works of art and original garden accessories with you. Seven speakers will be sharing their “green” gardening know-how. Note that admission to the event will be free on Friday, May 25. That’s right, the first free day last year was so popular with visitors (over 15,000 people turned out despite the rain) that the organizers have decided to repeat the experience.

What exactly is a pollinator garden?
It’s a garden that attracts butterflies, bee flies, bees and other insects that help carry pollen from one flower to another. In fact, without these pollinators, thousands of species of plants couldn’t reproduce. It’s estimated that pollination is responsible for one in every three foods we eat and nearly 80% of flowering plants require pollinators in order to produce their fruit or seeds. However, according to The pollination deficit/Le déclin des pollinisateurs, a United Nations study, bee, butterfly and fly populations are in decline globally, hence the idea that we can all do our part and create our own pollinator gardens.

3 tips for creating a pollinator garden
Everyone can garden organically (without pesticides) and create a garden to attract pollinators (suitable habitat, the right nutrients). Here are a few tips, but for more details you can consult the My Space for Life Garden program (espacepourlavie.ca/en/my-garden) site.
1.  Include a variety of plants and emphasize species native to Quebec.
2.  Be sure to have some plants in bloom all season long.
3.  Maintain your garden organically: choose suitable plants, nourish your plants with compost and water properly. Of course, you should tolerate some insects and simply hose or pick off any undesirable ones.

For more information, including ticket prices and opening hours, visit: espacepourlavie.ca/en