Pollinator garden design


We are interested in converting the front of our yard to a pollinator garden but do not have the time or the energy to do it ourselves. When I look up landscapers or landscape design,I have no clue who is competent to do this type of garden. Is there any way to find out who might be competent in this area. Any recommendations would be appreciated.


Dear gardener,

I totally commend you on your wish to have a pollinator garden. You have not mentioned what part of the city you live in, how big a garden you wish to create, what kind of soil you have, and whether you have shade or sun in the area you would like to make the garden. These could be important details.

Toronto Master Gardeners do not recommend or suggest nurseries, garden centres, landscapers or any other commercial operations. But here is a bit of research and some ideas to help you find someone to create your pollinator garden:

  1. Sustainable Roots is a landscape contractor that only uses native plants. They have done a pollinator garden at the Markham Museum.
  2. Project Swallowtail is a program to help people create pollinator gardens which has over 800 participants in the GTA and elsewhere. They have good resources and people.
  3. Paul Zammit, who is a professor in Niagara College’s Environmental Division, is a leading horticulturalist in Ontario who is a strong advocate of pollinator gardens. He may have students who could help you.
  4. Clement Kent, who wrote How to Make a Pollinator Garden in 2011, could be contacted through York University, and he may have students who could help you.
  5. You could send Toronto Master Gardeners another email  asking us to email all our members, some of whom are gardeners and landscapers, asking if any would like to take on creating your garden.
  6. In our Nature offers design and consultation on native plant gardens, and will recommend landscapers to execute their plans.
  7. You may also find a list of resources from the David Suzuki Butterflyway project useful. Their rangers establish pollinator gardens, and they be worth contacting, but I suspect they only create gardens on community property.
  8. The North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) has many videos on how to start your own pollinator garden. They may have consultants they can recommend to you.
  9. The City of Toronto’s Pollinator Protections Strategy, has loads of information and even a competition for pollinator gardens. If you contact them, I am sure they could give you a referral: livegreen@toronto.ca
  10. You can contact Landscape Ontario directly, and ask them for the names of contractors who specialize in pollinator gardens.
  11. The University of Guelph has a Horticulture Diploma, and if they were contacted, they would be able to link you to students who have specialized in their Natural Landscapes Management program. Their main office email is: Continuinged@uoguelph.ca
  12. The Toronto Urban Growers have a resource list of Indigenous farms and gardens in Toronto that you may find interesting.

I do hope this information is helpful to you, and I really encourage you to pursue your dream of creating a pollinator garden.

June 30,2023