The Espace pour la vie team is already hard at work preparing for the 21st Great Gardening Weekend at the Jardin botanique, the largest gardening fair in Quebec. This year’s event, from May 25 to 27, is on the theme of pollinator gardening. There will be some 65 exhibitors at the 2018 Great Gardening Weekend, all keen to share different plant varieties, nature-based items, works of art and original garden accessories with you. Seven speakers will be sharing their “green” gardening know-how. Note that admission to the event will be free on Friday, May 25. That’s right, our first free day last year was so popular with visitors (over 15,000 people turned out despite the rain) that the organizers have decided to repeat the experience.
What exactly is a pollinator garden?
It’s a garden that attracts butterflies, syrphid flies, bee flies, bees and other insects that help carry pollen from one flower to another. In fact, without these pollinators, thousands of species of plants couldn’t reproduce. It’s estimated that pollination is responsible for one in every three foods we eat and nearly 80% of flowering plants require pollinators in order to produce their fruit or seeds. However, according to The pollination deficit/Le déclin des pollinisateurs, a United Nations study, bee, butterfly and fly populations are in decline globally, hence the idea that we can all do our part and create our own pollinator gardens.
3 tips for creating a pollinator garden Everyone can garden organically (without pesticides) and create a garden to attract pollinators (suitable habitat, the right nutrients). Here are a few tips, but for more details you can consult the My Space for Life Garden program (espacepourlavie.ca/en/my-garden) site.
- Include a variety of plants and emphasize species native to Quebec.
- Be sure to have some plants in bloom all season long.
- Maintain your garden organically: choose suitable plants, nourish your plants with compost and water properly. Of course, you should tolerate some insects and simply hose or pick off any undesirable ones.
Eco-friendly gardening The Great Gardening Weekend Is also an ideal opportunity to get more involved in eco-friendly gardening. You can find out about the My Space for Life Garden program and learn how to invite biodiversity into your yard.
INFO Great Gardening Weekend Tickets and times: espacepourlavie.ca/en
List of exhibitors: espacepourlavie.ca/en/programming/great-gardening-weekend
Bring your reusable bags!
IMPORTANT - The Jardin botanique and Insectarium will not be participating in Montréal Museums Day on Sunday, May 27.
Lecture times (in French only)
Friday, May 25
Hélène Beaumont, an agronomist interested in sustainable development and eco-friendly behaviour, will be talking about worm composting.
|Les tables potagères pour jardiner autrement
Hélène Baril, horticulturist and author of several books on edible flowers and patio and balcony plants, will be sharing her ideas about growing your own food.
|Sauver les abeilles, oui mais comment?
Virginie Michaud, a conservation and urban biodiversity biologist specializing in environment-related education and urban beekeeping, will be talking about how we can save bees.
Saturday, May 26
|Aménager un jardin pour les pollinisateurs
Albert Mondor, a biologist, horticulturist, columnist with the Journal de Montréal, Historia host, author of several books and urban agriculture enthusiast will share some tips on creating a pollinator garden.
|Le contrôle des ravageurs en douceur pour protéger les pollinisateurs
Yves Gagnon, a gardener and author who has spent 30 years researching and experimenting with organic gardening, will talk about “gentle” pest control to protect pollinators.
|Éclairage DEL pour les plantes
Daniel Moschini, project manager at ADSOL, a company specialized in developing innovative lighting systems for biological control and other purposes, will talk about LED lighting for plants.
Sunday, May 27
|La culture des micro-pousses
Jean-Pierre Parent, an agronomist with a keen interest in organic gardening and landscaping with a low environmental impact, has worked at the Jardin botanique. He’ll be talking about growing micro-sprouts.
Nature dwells within us
In 2018, Espace pour la vie is looking at the many ways of dwelling on our planet. It’s a source of inspiration for some, and a call to reflection and dialogue for others, leading to citizen-based initiatives.
|Friday, May 25 – Media invitation
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Interviews can be arranged
10:30 a.m. Announcement of the Henry Teuscher Award recipient
6 p.m. Horticultural Merit Awards ceremony (private event)
Montréal Space for Life is made up of four attractions on the same site: the Jardin botanique, Biodôme, Insectarium and Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan. These four prestigious municipal institutions form Canada's largest natural science museum complex. Together, they are launching a daring, creative urban movement, urging everyone to rethink the connection between humankind and nature and cultivate a new way of living.- 30 -