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Darchei Noam’s pollinator gardens are helping to build local biodiversity

The synagogue garden in full flower (early July).


By Desre Kramer, Congregation Darchei Noam 

Congregation Darchei Noam is a Reconstructionist synagogue in Toronto. We are delighted to be one of several, diverse faith communities creating a local network of pollinator gardens together. To this end, we count ourselves fortunate to have received, for the second time, a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, through Faith & the Common Good. This has allowed us to build a native pollinator garden.

We have an 80-foot-long south-facing garden bed that runs across the front of the synagogue building. Last year, with the help of the first grant, we bought garden tools, cleared the weeds and a whole lot of invasive Miscanthus, and solarized the area. We then laid down fresh soil, and planted Ontario native plants. The soil was generously donated by Scott’s Canada. These plants are now in full bloom and are looking wonderful.

This year, through the second very generous grant, we bought more native plants including Milkweed, Wild Lupine, Wild Bergamot, Foxglove Beardtongue, Yellow Coneflower, Purple coneflower and Black-eyed Susan. Once again, we received many more bags of soil from Scott’s Canada. Our whole long bed is now planted with beautiful Ontario native flowers and they are thriving. We have added edging to prevent the soil from spreading onto the sidewalk.

We now have a beautiful, lush and colourful garden to greet members and visitors to the building. Vases of flowers from our garden are now decorating the sanctuary and our social hall. We are receiving many compliments from people who are returning to the synagogue for services after two very long years of absence caused by the pandemic. 

One of our volunteers happily putting in the edging. The first butterfly photographed in the garden: Red Admiral (Vanessa Atalanta).

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