Meet Withbloom ­Pollinator Gardens

›› Myriam Parent

Have you ever looked closely at who ­pollinates your cucumbers and tomatoes in the summer? Who hangs around the fragrant lavender blooms by the Fernwood Community Centre? Beloved bees, yes, but what kind of bees?

A while back, in response to the ­initial pandemic lockdown, I started my first boulevard garden dedicated to pollinators. With the knowledge available to my ­common settler understanding of bees, I cast seeds from a «wild flower mix» and happily watch the garden attracts bees; mostly honey bees then, as I came to understand later.

As this gardening process took place, I was auspiciously pointed in the direction of a free course offered by Island ­Pollinator ­Initiative; with a curriculum developed by wild bee expert, biologist Dr. Lora Morandin, and supported by native plant expert, biologist Kristen Miskelly, Satinflower Nursery co-founder. This course, the Pollinator Steward Certification, changed everything.

Like waking up from a dream, I learned that honey bees, of Italian origin, are farmed animals who have very little to do with maintaining our ecosystems’ health, unlike wild bees. I also learned that wild or native bees, for the most part solitary (no hive, no honey, no colony), rely almost exclusively on the native plants they ­support in order to exist and live strong.

These illuminating findings radically altered the way I related to my first garden, and subsequently, to all natural spaces. The joy I found in supporting local pollinators eventually led me to start a small business dedicated to educate my peers about them, and create as many pollinator habitats as possible in urban settings.

With great reverence I now invite you to learn how in turns you can become a native pollinator supporter on Lekwungen Traditional Territory; a formidable adventure! Learn more at and get in touch at or 778-678-2736.