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StarsAllbirch Homestead's Controlled Pollinator Garden Demonstration

Butterfly Meadow IllustrationAllbirch Homestead's Controlled Pollinator Garden Demonstration

Wednesday, October 1, 2008... Lawns are now known to be environmentally bad (are they just an 'outdoor carpet'? Probably), huge weed/pest attractors, pollinator hostile and actually unnatural in central Canada (wrong climate here - its too dry).

What is the alternative to mown lawns for our homesteads?
  • Research shows that so-called 'Pollinator Gardens' are huge pollinator boosters, biodiverse, and perfectly natural around here.
  • They are said to be the best way of managing our homestead landscapes, requiring no chemocides and just once-a-year mowing (before the growing season, to help mulch the new growth).
  • So, we are running a three year demonstration on our homestead to determine the best ways to create and maintain a Controlled Pollinator Garden landscape, starting in 2009, with the support of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and others.

  • Controlled Pollinator Gardens are said to be the best by far homestead landscapes of all.

  • Controlled Pollinator Garden have specially high biodiversity and wide variety of plants (there are scores of native and naturalized species in an Controlled Pollinator Garden) feeding more than just butterflies and their caterpillars.
  • They are also important for the well-being of many others insects as well, notably pollinator bees, beetles, flies and more.
  • Thirty percent of human farm food crops are pollinated by insects (bees and butterflies head the list), bats and hummingbirds - over a hundred kinds of mostly fruits and vegetables, the popular ones your mother always wants you to eat.
  • Our industrial monocultural abgribusiness farm practices, combined with our urban street lighting and cosmetic chemocides, are extirpating our top pollinators (and hurting our kids as well).

  • Its time to move on to 'Controlled Pollinator Garden' homestead landscapes!

    monarch butterfly, caterpillar and chrysalis
  • We need to demonstration to learn how best to create and maintain Controlled Pollinator Gardens on our own homesteads.
  • Constance Bay Village is perfectly situated for such demonstrationing with Controlled Pollinator Gardens because we are still really rural not urban or even suburban, but exurban - and we still are heavily treed.
  • Our native red oak forest already provides habitat for some local pollinator butterflies (namely, the many Hairstreaks), their caterpillars and other insects, too.
  • The The Allbirch Controlled Pollinator Garden Demonstration is underway, started in 2009!

  • If you want to start your own Controlled Pollinator Garden in the Village...
  • OR
  • If you would like to join a like-minded group in the Village...
  • If you want to send us your (100 words or so) testimonial on the wisdom, or your own experiences, of controlled pollinator gardens so I can post them to this webpage...
  • THEN...
    Email us at or phone 613-832-2745 and leave us your message, today.
    Good News!
    Friday, June 26, 2009...

    The prestigious
    Fletcher Wildlife Garden
    is lending its support to our efforts to demonstration with an Controlled Pollinator Garden at 374 Allbirch Road in Constance Bay Village, Ottawa, Canada, and has contributed some 140 native wildflowers to the project.

    We are seeking more expert help and community interest for the demonstration. We want to be able to show our friends and neighbours everywhere how best to realize their homestead Controlled Pollinator Garden, to help keep our planet healthy and food on our table.

    Please join our demonstration today, for everyone's better health and wellbeing for the future.

    Start your own homestead Controlled Pollinator Garden demonstration, too!

    Learn more...

    Here are just a few of the better reasons to consider a controlled pollinator garden on your homestead instead of a mowed (yawn) lawn.
    Butterfly Meadow IllustrationThe great relief of putting the chore of homestead lawns behind you...

  • your lawn will never be better than your neighbours' lawns anyway, so who needs the competitive grief;
  • lawns are not natural, they force nature to comply to our desires (we lose this fight every time, which is why lawn work never ends);
  • lawns want to be meadows anyway, which is why they attract all those other plants you work endlessy to eradicate, so your lawn is not your friend;
  • lawns are hard work at a time of day/weekend when the breadwinner should be in R&R;
  • lawns are expensive to grow, in dollars, in brutal chemical treatments and environmental damage;
  • lawn mowing and 'weeding' time is time lost from quality family time;
  • power mowing means: loud noise (even electric is noisy and may be sucking down juice from fossil-fuel power stations), risk of injury by cuts and bruises, reduced neighbourhood tranquility, higher stress on all in earshot, fossil fuel consumption, more greenhouse gases, expensive mower repairs, nuisance maintenance work, takes up storage space, etc. -- this list could go on forever;

  • Here is the start-up model for our Controlled Pollinator Garden: The Fletcher Wildlife Garden's Butterfly Meadow at the demonstration Farm in Ottawa...

    I quote from 'BUTTERFLIES ENJOY A HABITAT that is sheltered from the wind, has plenty of sun, and contains plants with nectar, colour, and scent all season. The meadow is sheltered by rows of coniferous trees to the west and northeast. Wildflowers such as Black-eyed Susans, Lupines, Comfrey, Joe Pye-weed, Daisies, Queen Anne's Lace, Vetch, Wild Parsnip, and Phlox have been planted to attract certain butterflies such as Common Sulphurs and Black Swallowtails. A variety of larval host plants like birch trees and grasses are close by. Of course, bees and wasps also feed on the nectar in summer, and birds feed on the seeds in winter.'
    'The trail veers right at the Butterfly Meadow and takes you through a sunny, sheltered area filled with a constantly changing panorama of nectar-rich flowers. But if you want to attract butterflies, even more important than a continuous supply of nectar for the adults are the nearby grasses, trees, milkweed, and thistles that their larvae (caterpillars) feed on. The combination of adult and larval food sources sheltered from the wind makes this an area where you are likely to see butterflies all season long; black swallowtails and monarchs are regular visitors here.

    It's worth visiting the meadow several times over the summer and fall to see the progression of blooms and colour changes of the lupines, joe-pye weed, wild parsley, black-eyed susans, goldenrods and asters, and to look for the various species of butterflies, of course.'

    Read on how to make your lawn into a Butterfly Meadow. Read about the why: to help make Canada the healthiest place for kids.
    Butterfly GardenThe wisdom of having your own homestead Controlled Pollinator Garden, vibrant all around you 24/7...

  • do your Controlled Pollinator Garden first before your neighbours and keep ahead (you know they will meadow as soon as they get wind of the idea), be the first in your neighbourhood, not the last, be the winner;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden means green, green, green, always, no longer the humiliation of having the first brown lawn in town in drier times;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden needs no watering, so municipal/well water and their costs saved, no chloramines (or whatever other chemicals), only nature's gentle, soft rain, and no work for you, or fiddly watering equipment needed;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden means your kids will know nature better and their school work will be above others who are cursed with homestead lawns instead;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden means your homestead trees can have their families too, as their own young (replacement) trees thrive. If all your homestead trees are the same age (old), they all die at the same time, and suddenly your homestead is treeless - and its value plummets - this is not good;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden's young trees contribute food to your butterfly babies, which your kids can relate to, and are beautiful too.
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden brings the butterfly beauty that de-stresses, increases tranquility, makes for a happier homelife for all;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden teaches your kids about nature in your very own family living naturotarium, you show them, they show you, everyone shares the wonderment;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden brings higher biodiversity through more insects, no kinds of insect too not just butterfliies, and more bird type insect eaters (also beautiful), and fewer biting flies which are eaten up (so, another backyard fight you will no longer have to lose), making it easy to sit and watch your slice of nature unfold in the comfort of the old homestead;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden will always be better than your neighbours' lawns, so get meadowizing asap;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden is your friend, it costs nothing (except property tax, of course, which the lawn would have cost too), it asks nothing of you, just as your dog asks nothing, and gives all;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden saves all that money that might have been put into pricey lawn growing;
  • your Controlled Pollinator Garden thrives whether its uptown, downtown, urbs, suburbs, exurbs, rural, farmy, corporate, anywhere, it becomes what's best for you, and its always good, good, good.
    Here are some the butterflies we might see...

    Canada Nutculture Association, Ottawa, Canada: "Progress through Research & Development"