Today we took the self-guided “Secret Gardens of Oakville” Garden Tour, presented by the Oakville Horticultural Society. As always, Tuffy P was very prepared and Google Mapped out a route for us to visit the gardens from furthest west to furthest east (closest to home). For those not from around here, Oakville is the next community SW from Mississauga (which is just west of Toronto).
There were 9 gardens on the tour, and as always at garden tours, there was a mixed bag, large and small, simple and elaborate, creative and, well, not so creative. The highlight for me was the garden of a woman who was an expert on insects. Her garden was a haven for butterflies, moths, and particularly bees. Here, she is showing us a variety of bees collected from her garden….
She has also created a bee hotel, a structure made from skids, bricks, logs, pine-cones, pieces of bamboo, along with mud and a water source. The hotel is home to mason bees and leafcutter bees, which require hollow stems or holes for nesting. These are small, stingless native bees, which are important pollinators. This gardener suggests that one mason bee can do the work of 1- to 25 non-native honey bees. Hmmm….maybe we can turn an Imagination Station from our garden into our own funky bee hotel?
Here is a glimpse of some of the gardens we saw today.
We would have like to have seen more gardens with veggies. There was one excellent veggie patch, which included a really nice asparagus patch (we liked that a lot…maybe we’ll try to develop our own).