Mix of Communities Plant Pollinator Garden in 90 Minutes

‘Everybody showed up with their energy and enthusiasm and ideas and plants and this amazing garden got created’

Ben Wolfe

How did a three-tiered community pollinator garden get turned over, weeded, composted, planted, mulched and watered in 90 minutes last Sunday?

With minimal structure and organization and a whole lot of joy, says Ben Wolfe, a participant and co-ordinator of the project.

“Everybody showed up with their energy and enthusiasm and ideas and plants and this amazing garden got created.”

“…if this is the model it’s very exciting.”
— Ben Wolfe

About 15 people of varying ages, levels of gardening know-how and community groups — some hailed from the Unitarian Fellowship of Peterborough where the garden was built, some from the Peterborough Pollinators group — joined. Many had already volunteered their time to drop off buckets of compost over the previous couple of days.

A $200 grant from the Horticultural Society of Peterborough enabled the purchase of most of the plants. People from the fellowship and the Peterborough Pollinators group donated a bunch of plants from their own gardens when they saw what was to be included. This reduced the cost and allowed the project to purchase all the mulch and compost needed within the amount of the Horticultural Society grant. The GreenUP Ecology Park also donated 20 pails of compost.

Led by the skill and experience of two people in particular, Marcy Adzich, manager of GreenUP Ecology Park and Carlotta James, the lead for the Peterborough Pollinators, the planting of the garden unfolded in a natural-feeling way, Ben says.

“This is one of the first gardens that the pollinator project has done from start to finish that is now out there and if this is the model it’s very exciting.

“It seeds so many things in so many ways.”

The new garden features a wetland theme in the bottom tier, butterfly theme in the middle and succulents theme at top. About 20 species of plants have been mixed throughout. Designed by Marcy and Carlotta, the plan for the garden was tweaked as others provided insights or offered plants.

Click on any photo to view a slideshow of larger images.
Photography by Ben Wolfe.

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