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


OPEN HOUSE! Come tour the new pollinator garden on Clyde Avenue

Ottawa, ON –  This Saturday June 26, 2021 is your chance to tour Ottawa’s latest pollinator garden, the Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch up close!

Local resident Nora Lee had become concerned in recent years about the state of Ottawa’s pollinating insects and birds and decided to do something about it.

Teaming up with Friends of Carlington Woods and the Copeland Park Community Alliance, Nora and a volunteer crew worked with city staff and other officials through the winter of 2020 and the spring of 2021 to get this new garden designed, approved, and planted. FoodCycler, with offices in nearby Westboro, also got involved, lending a FC-30 home composting unit to help augment the soil for the native plants.

The Patch was already home to native asters, goldenrod, and staghorn sumac and now boasts a variety of carefully selected native species including wild columbine, evening primrose, yarrow, and blue eyed grass. It’s also been designed for maximum pollinator comfort with an ironwood stump, and rock and log piles for bugs to curl up in.

Join us as we celebrate the official Open House this Saturday! Rain date Sunday. Please follow all public health guidelines regarding masks and distancing.

Saturday June 26, 2021 Anytime between 10:30 and noon. Clyde Avenue (south) near the intersection with Castle Hill Crescent.

Pollinating insects and birds have always been part of city life. But as humans take over more and more space, many natural habitats and food sources are being lost.

We can help by integrating more natural areas within urban settings.

Converting even a small space on your property or on public land, as we have done on Clyde, can help provide critical habitat and food for pollinating species, such as bees, wasps, and butterflies.

The Clyde Bee & Butterfly Patch is also right next door to the Carlington Woods. The patch will add to the already rich biodiversity of this Environmentally Protected urban forest. For more information about the Carlington Woods, visit the Friends of Carlington Woods.

To learn more about how to start your own garden, or support pollinators in other ways, check out the resources below.

The Corner Pollinator Garden and Wildlife Habitat, Ottawa.

Wild Pollinator Partners, Ottawa

Canadian Wildlife Service, national