Tucking the garden in for winter

Updated: Nov 4

Thank you to each and every one of you for your part in a wonderful and amazing year at our museum garden.


You have done phenomenal work this year, each in your own unique way - sharing ideas, sharing seeds, starting a native plant bed in your own yard, sharing plants from your yard, starting seeds and raising seedlings to expand the species in our garden, planting, figuring out how to water the beautiful transplants when the sprinklers weren't working using truck loads of water and making extra trips in the long-lasting extreme heat days, digging out the quackgrass that once seemed endless but is now almost gone, removing the sick or overly rambunctious native plants, starting programs to share the garden treasures with children and their parents, collecting seeds, labeling plants and sharing your enthusiasm for growing native plants with everyone who asked to help them make beautiful neighbourhoods.

I am so blessed to be working with kind and generous people who show how much they care about the natural world with smiles, enthusiasm even when the work is hard, and curiosity for what is possible in a world that seems nothing like the one we knew a year ago.

Yet, being connected with our group working in the garden has shown us that some things really do endure beyond the struggles of the moment: green shoots pushing their way to the warmth in Spring, beautiful flowers and grasses feeding buzzy and fluttery and "creepy crawly" tiny treasures living in our patch of peace, camaraderie of common purpose, and hearts filling with joy seeing and touching and hearing the abundant life around us while we work in the garden.


We will be planning the beds for next year, meeting with two of the city parks and open spaces maintenance divisions about supplying seeds and growing plants for the parks, exploring and defining our pollinator corridor project to understand we can best help the migrating birds, mammals and insects through growing native plants, and connecting with WWF Biopolis.


Bumble Bee on a Liatris ligulistylis / Meadow Blazingstar. Aug 20

Tiny bee (Andrena sp.) on Potentilla norvegica / Rough Cinquefoil. Aug 21

I always wondered about the cryptic colouring on the migrating and over-wintering adult butterflies but this Red Admiral showed me their perfect logic for their disguise. Aug 23

Northern Bedstraw Hawkmoth almost ready for a winter's nap on Epilobium ciliatum / Northern Willowherb. Aug 25

Migrating Painted Lady on Echinacea angustifolia / Purple Coneflower Aug 31

After we cleared some of the other plants, this Allium textile / Prairie Onion had the light it needed to be the first one to be seen since we started the rejuvenation in 2018. Oct 06

A buzz-pollinating bumble bee that i was worried about not finding food when we took out the roses that they love, happily foraging on a Potentilla norvegica Sep 01

A Western Checkered Butterfly on Symphyotrichum ciliolatum / Lindley's Aster Sep 03

A migrating species - Variable Dragonfly Sep 05

A sure Fall sign - Ascelpius speciosa / Showy Milkweed pods on a sunny windy day, letting the seeds go 1 at a time. Sep 08

A tiny Syrphid Fly on Achillea millefolium / Common Yarrow. One of dozens of species of Syrphids in the garden. Sep 17

Green Metallic Sweat Bee on Helianthus Pauciflorus ssp. subrhomboideus / Beautiful Sunflower Sep 17

A migrating Varigated Fritillary and a Honey bee feasting on long blooming Symphyotrichum ciliolatum / Lindley's Aster. Sep 21

A migrating White-throated Sparrow - one of the species who likes to hang out at our garden Sep 08

A young American Goldfinch who loved our sunflowers seen here eating the seeds from the ones we left in the compost / dry out pile. Sep 22

Celery Looper Moth on Symphyotrichum ciliolatum / Lindley's Aster. It's impossible to show in a single photo showing at any given moment the hundreds of bees, butterflies, beetles, bugs, ants, wasps, moths and syrphid flies sharing our little patch of a dozen asters every day, all summer long.

A tiny Agapostemon Metallic Sweat Bee on Potentilla norvegica / Rough Cinque foil. Sep 22

A migrating Monarch on Symphyotrichum laeve / Smooth Aster. Several were seen at the museum earlier in Sep. I saw this one in my yard at 4pm and it was still there after sunset. My brother, who sees cocoons in his wood pile each year and later the adults, figures it must have hatched somewhere close by if it was feeding this intensely and for so long. Under my raised deck behind the Virginia Creeper just a few feet away would have been a pretty good place to hide. It's only the second summer i have had 2 Milkweed plants and 1/2 a dozen Asters in my yard but a Monarch found the only ones in the neighbourhood! Sep 24

We did get at least 1 little mining bee take up the offer of a hotel room. Oct 15

Wayne now has a clear path to each of the feeders this year. Oct 15

Which the little birds like this Red-breasted Nuthatch will surely appreciate! Oct 15

Each of you can take good pride and feeling of accomplishment in what we created this year. An unexpected offer of road crush for the paths went a long way to freshening the look of the garden. Oct 08 and Oct 15

The signs the Museum Exhibits and Program Director, John Snell, and graphic designer, Betta Shum made for us will be an excellent help with out education programs. Apparently, they are also excellent places to warm up if you are a Syrphid fly. Oct 08

Each of you can take good pride and feeling of accomplishment in what we created this year. An unexpected offer of road crush for the paths went a long way to freshening the look of the garden. Oct 08 and Oct 15

Each of you can take good pride and feeling of accomplishment in what we created this year. An unexpected offer of road crush for the paths went a long way to freshening the look of the garden. Oct 08 and Oct 15


On our last day of gardening for the year, there were still many plants blooming, feeding the last of the bees and butterflies, while they wait for the first frost to bring them rest and Mom Nature to bring them a blanket for the winter. Oct 15

© 2020 Nature Regina