The Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch

Find the Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch near the intersection of Clyde and Castlehill in Ottawa’s west eend.

Pollinators in your garden

We hope that the Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch has inspired you to garden for pollinators, too!

The number of species and the number of pollinators are in decline. This matters because pollinators and the plant species they depend on are key elements in so many natural cycles. A substantial proportion of the food we eat depends on pollinators as do most wild flowering plants. Butterflies and moths depend on flowers, and birds, in turn, depend heavily on their caterpillars.

Biodiversity matters! We can all help by replacing even a small part of our lawns with flowering plants or replacing some common ornamental plants with native plants. Perennial flowering plants have much deeper roots than lawn grass, improving the soil and storing more carbon.

Why native plants? Many plants you already have in your garden will supply nectar and pollen to some bees and butterflies even if they are not native plants. The thing is that many species of native bees and other pollinators can’t make use of them or do not get as much nourishment as they need from them since they didn’t evolve with them. Planting plants that are native to our region will help conserve those insects.

You don’t need a lot of space. Whether an enormous garden or small balcony, you can help pollinators. One garden may have tall grasses for birds and butterflies, the next some native flowers, while another may provide water or a wood pile for shelter. A balcony can have pots of anise hyssop, wild geranium or dwarf asters that local insects can visit.

By supporting pollinators and growing the plants they depend on, we help ourselves and create a healthier ecosystem for all living organisms.

For information about the Patch, contact:

There is a lot of good information available online and in your local library.


Here is the list of the plants in the Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch, a dry, sandy site in full sun.

Since it is fall, here is how to put your garden to bed the pollinator friendly way, courtesy of Pollination Guelph.

Over the winter, plan your own pollinator patch. The Ottawa Seed Library has some quick tips and a wealth of linked websites. It also has a list of plants for beginners. David Suzuki Foundation also has a list of native pollinator plants and butterflies for eastern Canada. For design help view the slide show Just Do It: Beginner Native Plant Garden Design for Urban Ottawa, by Berit Erikson, the maker of the Corner Pollinator Garden, corner of Sherbourne and Fraser.

Wild Pollinator Partners is an excellent website started by Ottawa’s Friends of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden where you can find a wealth of information. There is a list of pollinator gardens in Ottawa, links to all kinds of how-to information including about gardening for pollinators and making bee houses, and information about the pollinators themselves and where you can find plants or seeds.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation has been encouraging gardening for wildlife for at least 25 years.

The Pollinator Partnership has been active since 1997 and has a North America-wide presence. One of their publications related to our region: Selecting plants for pollinators: a guide for gardeners, farmers, and land managers in the St. Lawrence Lowlands region.

Heather Holm Learn about pollinating insects with this expert. Here is an interview with her, mostly for listening but with pictures of different pollinating insects, and a great table she put together on Native Perennials for Pollinators.

Previously at the Patch


A hidden gem in Ottawa west

Rising above the Queensway, Carlington Park is home to the highest natural point in Ottawa.

The fantastic views of Ottawa and Gatineau are only one reason people come to Carlington Park. There’s also the challenging slope that’s perfect for sledding and snowboarding in winter, and hiking year-round; the Carlington Woods (22 hectares of Environmentally Protected land), where you can find a quiet place to contemplate the world or check out a cool tree. The meadow was replaced with a mountain bike pump track in 2019.

The view from atop the Hill at Carlington Park. Winter 2016. Photo by Linda Landry.

But there is so much more to Carlington Park.

The Carlington Woods (owned in part by the City, part by the National Capital Commission) are a designated City of Ottawa Environmentally Protected zone. This designation means that the lands provide important environmental resources, such as storm water, flood, erosion, and urban heat island control; acts as a local carbon sink; and provides habitat and food for wildlife, including some protected species. Natural areas and urban forests are also good for our physical and mental health.

Certain activities are prohibited in these zones, due to their impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity. In the Carlington Woods, these activities include sledding, skiing, cycling, erecting structures, damaging or cutting vegetation or soil, and creating unsafe trails.

If you’re concerned about conserving the Carlington Woods for future generations, or just want to know more about how you can you help protect our parks, urban forests and other public greenspaces, there’s no better place to start than right here. Let’s take a walk!

Check out some of these resources and find out more about how you can help protect and conserve our natural areas.

Environmental Protected zone outlined in pink. undefined