I noticed the following information about the My Space for Life Garden program at the Montréal Botanical Garden. I felt it was something that should be shared, even though it was designed specifically for an audience in the province of Québec. It’s the sort of program that you could adapt anywhere. In fact, I’m sure that an organization in your area offers a similar program, so do look around. If not, start one of your own!

The whole point of the My Space for Life Garden is to help people preserve biodiversity and create a haven for nature in their own yard. A place for native plants, birds, insects, small animals, etc. You don’t need a lot of space: even a balcony will do. What you do need is willingness to help!

How Can I Protect Pollinators and Biodiversity at Home?

Flower garden on a stump
A flower garden on a stump? Why not! Any means you use to bring nature back into the city is worthwhile!
Photo: Francis Cardinal EPLV

Creating a flower or kitchen garden, vegetalizing a balcony, a wall or a terrace are ways of getting closer to nature. These are also opportunities for taking concrete action to preserve biodiversity as well as attract an array of pollinators.

A diversified landscape attracts biodiversity in addition to triggering numerous collateral benefits . . . and possibly inspiring the whole neighborhood. The greener a neighborhood becomes, the easier it is for wildlife (insects, birds or small mammals) to travel from one green space to another. Gardens absorb runoff water and reduce urban noise. They are true little islands of freshness and allow for better observation of the wildlife that we share the city with.

By gardening ecologically and in fostering biodiversity, you become an agent for change. You contribute to the biodiversity protection movement, support native pollinators, and increase the resilience of your living environment. Not to mention the pleasure, the discoveries and the time for contemplation that you treat yourself to.

Why Participate in the My Space for Life Garden Program?

Attractive and biodiverse garden.
Beauty and diversity: a beautiful combination. Photo: Marie-Josée Dunpont

My Space for Life Garden program is free and open to all Québec residents, to company, school and alley gardens, green roofs and community gardens. When you participate, you benefit from a range of advantages:

  • an up-to-date newsletter to support you during the gardening season’s key moments;
  • tip sheets developed by the Montréal Space for Life specialists;
  • events specially designed for gardening enthusiasts and program participants;
  • the possibility of having your action recognized by the certification of your garden according to the theme(s) chosen, under established criteria;
  • the enhancement of your garden in the Gardenaut Gallery, where certified gardens are geolocated.

Choosing a Theme Garden

A biodiversity garden.
Your garden can become a Biodiversity Garden like this one in Montréal. Photo: Paradis Alazor

Choose the project you like and that suits you best! The layouts suggested for the four My Garden themes allow for support of biodiversity, but also for feeding and accommodating a host of pollinators like bees, butterflies and birds.

Based on your natural affinities and the surface area at your disposal, choose one or more of the following theme gardens that allow you to obtain a certification—or choose them all!

  • The Biodiversity Garden promotes the cultivation of a diverse flora, especially native plants, in order to attract a wide range of useful fauna to your garden.
  • The Edible Garden invites you to grow a diversity of plants that feed both the gardener and wildlife. The charming, the useful and the delicious all together!
  • The Monarch Oasis will transform your garden into sites of observation and reproduction of these flamboyant butterflies and many other native insect species; 
  • The Bird Garden offers a space that will attract birds—a garden where they can feed and shelter throughout the year.

Information on the My Space for Life Garden program was provided by the Montréal Botanical Garden, an integral part of Space for Life. It’s the largest natural science museum complex in Canada.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, laidbackgardener.blog will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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