Victoria Hospice invites you to share a wonderful local garden tour, exploring some truly inspiring gardens and meeting their enthusiastic owners for some great insights and fun….all free!! You can enjoy a peak into their wonderful gardens and listen to some lively behind the scenes interviews as Victoria Hospice welcomes you to their first Virtual Garden Tour. www.victoriahospice.org/events/teenytinygardentours/
Victoria Hospice has been providing compassionate palliative care to our community for 40 years and, to celebrate, they have created a video of their annual garden tour. The Teeny Tiny Tour has created the opportunity to discover hidden backyard gardens for the past 14 years, but due to Covid 19 restrictions they have gone virtual. These private gardens offer ideas for blending art, flowers, sheds and edible plants and feature two gardeners who live in our Quadra/Cedar Hill neighbourhood. Admission to the tour is free, but donations are appreciated and a garden calender can be purchased.
As many of us know, many pollinators are under threat from habitat loss, pesticide, and disease. Sometimes it can seem a daunting task to find ways to help these vital insects, but one way to help may be to provide homes for our solitary bees known as Mason Bees. Many people are buying or making ‘Bee Hotels’. One great thing about this is that you can do this without even having a garden. A wall or a fence on which to mount the hotel will work also.
But are bee hotels a fad? Do they actually work? Since they are expensive, it seems worthwhile doing a little research before you embark on this venture. I was fortunate to find a pack of two in my local thrift shop (aren’t thrift stores amazing?!!), so, for $5 I thought I would give it a try. Well, once in place it was like New York Central, with bees pretty much lining up to lay their eggs. Both are now full, no room at these Bee n Bees!! This particular type is available for $39.95 for two, which may seem expensive but they are reusable after cleaning. (https://www.pollenbeenest.com/)
We also bought another type, insect hotels, and placed one on the same wall. Apart from a small number of bees, most of the holes were not used. Researching further, I have discovered that most mason bees prefer the smaller holes; those large holes are just too much work for these Queens. That’s a lot of space to fill with mud when you don’t have worker bees to help out! Ever hopeful, we tried making some of the holes smaller by adding straws in some holes, but there was minimal interest. It appears the bees voted with their wings and took their eggs elsewhere.
Then Susan (our President) sent a photo of her bee hotel; now that is truly impressive. I have Bees Nest Envy!
What about you? Have you tried to attract mason bees? What did you use, what worked, what didn’t? Have you tried to make one? Are you a Mason Bee Expert? What’s the best thing we can do to help these vital pollinators? Send us a short (250 words) summary and of course some pics if you have them, or just some pics! We’d love to hear from you. Contact us at editor@QCHCA.org
After a long journey that began in 2006, we are delighted that on February 3rd 2020 Saanich Council directed staff to report how to achieve Cecelia Creek Falls Park as envisioned in the concept plan. The project supports Saanich’s OCP vision for Environmental Integrity “Saanich restores and protects air, land and water quality, the biodiversity of existing natural areas and eco-systems, the network of natural areas, open spaces and urban forests.”
The Park Design
After the Cecelia Creek Falls Park was chosen as a legacy project to celebrate Saanich’s Centennial Year, a design concept was created and presented to the community in 2008 at a Saanich Parks’ open house. The design provides for a safe outdoor educational site for school children by allowing a natural flow rate of water to pass through the park to eliminate hazards caused by high flow rates. The creek’s banks are designed with maximum 2:1 slope. A 5% grade to the main pipe was accommodated by creating a small waterfall with a sitting area and a trail planned to allow visitors to enjoy the creek. Native plants will be used throughout the area and interpretive signage provided.
For further information about the Legacy Project and the history of the Cecelia Creek Watershed click here. With many thanks to Ken Whitcroft for this update and information.