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Aug. 13, 2020 | Thursday
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NOTL Horticultural Society creates pollinator garden on Nassau Street
Some members of NOTL Horticultural Society came out to help create a pollinator garden at the William Nassau Park. (Submitted/NOTL Horticultural Society)

The Niagara-on-the-Lake Horticultural Society will be adding a new stop on its garden tour next year: a pollinator garden.

Twenty members of the NOTL Horticultural Society gathered Monday morning at a small park on the corner of William and Nassau streets to help create the garden.

“It’s just trying to check pollinators back in because the bee population is down,” said society president Joanne Young. “Our butterfly population is down (too).”

Using the so-called “lasagna” gardening method, society members have created a 35-by-15 foot bedding comprised of five or six layers of organic material.

The garden is made of three layers, one comprised of newspapers and cardboard, a green layer of annual plants and garden scraps, and a brown layer consisting of dried leaves and straw.

The layers have to be mixed, Young said. The green layers provide nitrogen while the brown layers provide phosphorus. She said the Town of NOTL and society members will continue to add more layers, and by spring, the layers will have composted down, creating a “nice rich” planting soil.

Society members hope to have the pollinator garden ready by next July, in time for the group’s annual garden tour.

“This will be one of the stops on the garden tour, so people can learn how we made the garden, what kind of things are we planting,” Young said.

“We’ll have some bee houses added to it. It’s like a learning garden for the area. Hopefully, school kids can come and learn about how we’ve done it.”

The benefit of using the “lasagna” method is it’s a natural way of gardening which doesn’t require any digging, said garden tour committee member Gary Hall.

“You wouldn’t be able to do this (digging) manually,” Hall told The Lake Report. “It’s environmentally friendly. It’s a sound environmental practice, which is important in gardening.”

The main planting will take place on the day of the garden tour, with plans to plant about 75 to 100 natural perennials.

The Horticultural Society has adopted the town-owned park on William and Nassau streets as part of the municipality’s Adopt-a-Park program.

“We wanted it to become a lot more used, a lot more known for what we’re doing,” Young said. “We want to keep developing this area.”

“Just to raise awareness of the Hort Society in Niagara-on-the-Lake and show what we do in the community,” Hall added. “We’re working with the town to get the proper signage for the park.” 

Horticultural Society members have wanted to create a pollinator garden for several years now, Young said, noting it’s a good way of using scraps instead of throwing them in the garbage.

“It’s putting what you took from the earth back into the earth,” she said.