Carmen Orlandis-Habsburgo

Cheers from Stinson Kitchi Memengwa, The Great Butterfly, Urban Ojibwe-Latino Monarch Sanctuary, a sidewalk garden on the corner of Victoria Ave S. and Hunter St E in the Stinson neighbourhood! We won the 2023 White Trillium Award! We also participated in the Open Garden Journeys and we are booked for a presentation at the Milne House Garden Club.

But the ultimate thrill for any gardener is the presence of a Monarch Butterfly territorial male. Monarch males become territorial only if, from their point of view, the location is an excellent breeding ground, with plenty of nectar and milkweed. A territorial male patrolling behavior brings the beauty of the garden to the ethereal level. I get lost watching his aerobatics while he is looking for the ladies and surveilling for competitors.

We finished the new area of the garden we call the “Observatory”, with 4 large repurposed wood planters and a painted claw tub and vintage star rocking chairs. I was not sure if Monarchs would be attracted by milkweed and zinnias growing in planters and pots set over a cement pad, now I can say that they do! We love sitting there; it is amusing and beautiful! And we feel rewarded by the cheering effect that our extravagant garden installation has in all those who pass by.

The other pollinators are also feeling great and we have so many different species of bees that one will need a Phd to identify them all. New this year was a tribe of cuckoo bees gathering under Black-eyed Susans to sleep together; but not as cute as our bumble bees sleeping in the Zinnias.

So far this summer we sent into the world 153 Monarchs and 12 Black Swallowtails. We usually release around 6:30 pm if the weather is good. Drop by! Take pictures!