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My garden

Sunnyside Lee



Your garden

Biodiversity Garden

Bird Garden


I have always loved gardens as peaceful and restorative spaces. During the Covid-19 lockdown, staying home made me, of necessity, look to our outdoor space for solace and to connect with the nature around us. Really seeing plants and insects and wildlife close up spurred me to support the creatures that depend for their survival on the natural spaces within built environments. I started cultivating our space as a place where birds and pollinators would visit and buzz with life around us. We had already gifted ourselves and our local birds with a bird bath for our backyard. I also added a suet cage and a sunflower-seed dispenser for the birds (and the squirrels like the sunflower seeds too). I added a few low, shallow stone bowls scattered around the yard for small creatures and pollinators.

I got to know my neighbor gardeners, some of whom gave me plants from their own gardens to add to ours: King Solomon’s Seal, ferns, hostas, Bleeding Hearts, columbine, sedum, Butterfly Bush, creeping phlox. To those, I added many others: clematis, a lilac bush, hydrangeas, daisies, coneflowers, asters, hibiscus, spiked speedwell, scarlet sage, lavender, marigolds, and Johnny Jump Up—a variety of perennials and annuals in the separate sun/part-sun gardens and shade gardens on our property. Upon noticing that the grass around the parking sign between our and our neighbours’ property was a rare area getting full-sun, I replaced most of the the grass there with flowers and flowering plants: Russian sage, marigolds, zinnias, and purple bellflowers.

Our garden has become a haven, not only for us, but for birds including a family of robins that nest in our cedar tree, and the many bumblebees that visit our blooms daily.

My teenage son, who has autism and is nonverbal, likes to sit on a chaise longue beside my garden chair and look at the birds and flowers with me. He listens to the garden sounds, and these moments are some of our most peaceful and connected times.

Garden location