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Welcome to the Community Garden in Roseland.

A Community Project

In 2021, the Roseland Community Organization, Port Nelson United Church and the City of Burlington jointly cooperated with grant funding, community donations and labour to create this beautiful Community Garden.

Please feel free to linger and enjoy this ‘thin spot” in whatever way moves you.

If you wish to learn more about the significance of aspects of this garden, read on with these links:

Community members meet in May 2022 to unveil the bench dedications and the Peace Pole. In 2021 the City opened applications for Neighbourhood Community Matching Grants. The Neighbourhood Community Matching Fund was created to inspire Burlington residents to actively champion projects in their community to improve, build and strengthen Burlington and enhance the quality of life for everyone. Bringing neighbourhoods and communities together to make new connections and create a sense of belonging is just as important to the City as the project itself.

There was a very small window to make the application which we did after getting Roseland Community Organization and Port Nelson United Church leadership on side. Our application was accepted in the summer and we moved forward on building the garden, just in time for the fall frost.

Our aims in building the garden were to:

  • Provide a place for people to meet and socialize
  • Provide pollinator species consistent with one of Roseland Community Organization’s longer term objectives
  • Provide a “Peace Pole” which in part replaces a Peace Garden that was lost to make room for the renovated church building.
Our Peace Pole joins more than 200,000 poles in close to 200 countries to declare “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.  The idea of Peace Poles was thought of by Masahisa Goi in 1955 in Japan.
In the Community Garden, we have selected nine languages with two strips in English and a plaque in Braille.  The language strips all say “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in their respective languages. The four sides are as follows:

  • English/ Braille/ Ojibway
  • Dutch / Hebrew
  • English / French
  • Japanese / Arabic

South side – The English phrase “May Peace Prevail in our Homes and Communities” is paired with Ojibway which is one of our area’s Indigenous languages.  As you face this side of the post you will be looking out over our community and the community garden.  Between the two language strips is a Braille plaque with the same message, “May Peace Prevail on Earth”.

West side – Dutch/Hebrew – Dutch recognizes the twinning of Apeldoorn, in the Netherlands and our City of Burlington in 2005.  Hebrew is a historical foundational language from the Middle East.

North side – English/French  (Canada’s two official languages).

East side – Japanese/Arabic – Japanese is in honour of our City of Burlington’s twinning with Itabashi, Japan, in 1989.  Arabic is a historical foundational language from the Middle East.

The significance of Japanese and Dutch languages in Burlington

In 1984, a Mundialization Committee of volunteer citizens was formed in Burlington to pursue twinning with another country.  A by-law was passed in 1985 to declare Burlington a “World Community” dedicated to international co-operation (mundialization) and that the City of Burlington, as part of its Mundialization program, proceed to undertake a twinning program with a municipality in another country, and to fly the United Nations flag with the Canadian flag from City Hall at all times.

On May 12, 1989, Mayor Bird signed a twinning agreement with Mayor Kurihara of Itabashi, Japan.

On May 6, 2005, Mayor MacIsaac signed a twinning agreement with Mayor de Graaf of Apeldoorn, Netherlands.

Burlington celebrates our twinning with Itabashi, Japan and Apeldoorn, Netherlands by hosting a variety of events to connect us to these cities.

The rainbow is a symbol of affirmation.  The church has adopted the following Affirm Statement.

We affirm, include, and celebrate people of every age, race, belief, culture, ability, income level, family configuration, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation in the life and ministry of Port Nelson. As followers of Jesus, we believe that we are part of the body of Christ. The apostle Paul said that ‘the body does not consist of one member but of many’ and all are indispensable. (1 Corinthians 12:14, 22-26)

Port Nelson United Church celebrated becoming an Affirming Ministry of the United Church of Canada on June 4, 2017. As the first Affirming congregation in Burlington, Port Nelson has made a public commitment to work for the full inclusion of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, as well as affirming the variety of people who are part of God’s loving creation.

The main criteria for choosing the different plants in the community garden were to provide sequential food for pollinator species, for birds, butterflies, bees, flies, moths and that the plant was derived from a native species.  We know native species will be hardier and more adaptable to our location. Native plants will have more appeal to our native pollinators, the insects, bees, butterflies etc are familiar with these plants and can recognize them. Many plants have been hybridized and modified to put more emphasis on the blooms whereas we want our emphasis to be on food production (nectar rich plants). We also wanted to provide blooms and hence food for as long a period as possible so care was taken in choosing early, mid and late blooming species.

We are fortunate in the location of our pollinator garden as it is between two previously installed gardens on the Port Nelson United Church site. There is some duplication in the plantings which encourages pollinators to stop at each of the gardens.

There are many factors which have contributed to the decrease in pollinator species: use of chemical herbicides and pesticides, urbanization and lack of appropriate food, climate change such that bloom times are changing and do not meet the needs of the pollinators, and fractionalization (the great distances between appropriate food sources.) We hope to remedy what we can, that is we do not use pesticides, we have tried to use many native plants and we have three consecutive gardens which provides some continuity in food sources.

Some of the plants which are in the garden are listed here with a few details about each:


Achillea millefolium cv. Paprika, (yarrow)

    • Original species native to North America, many hybrids have been produced
    • Used by Indigenous peoples as a medicinal herb to treat stomach ailments and fevers
    • Attracts: Native Bees and it also attracts predatory insects which prey upon other harmful pest insects.
    • Flowering time: August, September


Agastache scrophulariifolia, (giant hyssop)

      • Native to North America
      • Plant leaves were used by Native Canadians
      • Attracts: bees, butterflies and hummingbirds
      • Flowers mid to late summer
      • Propagate by splitting plant roots





Allium spp. (Ornamental onion) different varieties withdiffering flowering times (spring through summer)

    • Fast growing
    • Not edible
    • Extremely tough, drought-resistent and cold tolerant




Aquilegia vulgaris hybrids, cv. Songbird Dove, cv. Songbird Cardinal, cv. Double Violet Blue, (columbine)

    • short lived but self seeding
    • attracts hummingbirds and butterflies
    • late spring to mid-summer blooms


Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)

      • Native to North America
      • source of nectar for ruby-throated hummingbirds; it attracts a wide range of species of native bees, bumblebees, honey bees, butterflies and moths.
      • Flowers late spring/early summer
      • Propagation, seeds. Plants do not transplant well but grow from seeds distributed after they have dried on the plant


Arenaria montana cv. Avalanche, (mountain sandwort)

    • A cultivar of non-native genus
    • Early spring flowering provides nectar for early pollinators
    • Spreads by roots




Asclepias incarnata (swamp milkweed)

    • Native throughout North America
    • Food source for endangered monarch butterflies
    • Attracts hummingbirds to nectar rich flowers
    • Spreads through seed dispersal and underground rhizomes




Buxus sempervirens, (boxwoods)

    • Inconspicuous blooms in April to May
    • Native primarily to open woodlands and rocky hillsides in southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia
    • Wood was originally used to make boxes




Echinacea purpurea c v. PowWow Wild Berry, (coneflower)

    • Native to parts of eastern North America
    • Up to 120 cm (47 in) tall by 25 cm (10 in) wide at maturity
    • Blooms throughout summer into autumn
    • pollinated by butterflies and bees
    • Long used in traditional medicine



Eriocapitella vitifolia (Grape leaf anemone)

    • Non native plant
    • Flowers late summer
    • Attracts bees and flies





Gaillardia aristate cv. Arizona Apricot and SpinTop Orange Halo, (blanket flower)

    • Native to western half of North America
    • Attractive to bumblebees and sweat bees
    • Short lived perennial but can self seed
    • Flowers late summer and into the fall




Gaillardia grandiflora cv. Mesa Yellow, (blanket flower)

    • Native to North America
    • Attracts butterflies and especially attractive to native bees
    • Short lived perennial but can self seed
    • Flowers late summer and into the fall



Galanthus nivalis, (snow drop)

    • one of the earliest and loveliest spring flowering bulbs
    • native to Europe and southwestern Asia
    • spreads by self-seeding and bulb offsets
    • feeds bees


Hylotelephium spectabile ‘Autumn Joy,’ sedum spectabile “Autumn Joy”

    • Non native
    • late season bloomer, early to late fall
    • important source of food for bees and butterflies and other pollinators
    • note the recent name change from Sedum spectabile to Hylotelephium spectabile
    • easily divided with a spade, divide in early spring


Leucanthemum X ssuperbum, (shasta daisy)

    • non-native, have naturalized throughout N. America
    • attracts butterflies
    • blooms july through the summer




Penstemon digitalis cv. Blackbeard, (beard tongue)

    • Native to North America
    • spring flowering
    • attractive to hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators




Phlox subulate cv. Red wing, (creeping phlox)

    • Native to North America
    • flowers early spring
    • spreads readily but stays compact
    • Attractive to butterflies
    • prune after flowers have finished to help plant keep a mounded shape
    • can be split by root division or planting seed directly into the ground


Rudbeckia fulgida cv. Goldstrum, (black eyed Susan, coneflower)

    • Native to eastern North America
    • flowers mid to late summer and early fall
    • attracts butterflies and birds eat the seeds
    • spreads by underground rhizomes, divide the roots propagation




Salvia nemorosa cv. Caradonna, (sage)

    • Non native
    • flowers late spring to early summer
    • attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds




Salvia nemorosa cv. East Friesland

    • Non native
    • flowers late spring to early summer
    • attracts butterflies, and hummingbirds


Schizachyrium scoparium “The Blues”, (prairie grass, blue stem)

    • Native to North America
    • fuzzy white seeds are attractive to winter birds.
    • stems are bluish in spring then plant turns dark pink/mahogany in the fall
    • plants clumps and the clumps can be divided with a spade




Scilla Siberica alba, (Siberian squill)

    • Non-native
    • early spring flowering bulb
    • plants can become invasive so care in handling dug up bulbs, dispose of properly
    • propagates by self seeding and bulb off shoots
    • provides early season nectar to bees and other pollinators when not many other plants are in flower


Symphyotrichum novae-angliae cv. Grape crush, (New England aster)

    • Native to Ontario and many parts of N. America
    • Flowers late summer, all fall
    • Important source of late season food for pollinators, bumble bee queens, bees, and importantly monarch butterflies which are heading back to Mexico


Thalictrum aquilegifolium Black Stockings, (meadow rue)

    • some species native range is Europe and Asia but has naturalized across Ontario
    • flowers late spring to early summer
    • attracts butterflies



Tiarella cordifolia cv. Spring Symphony, (foam flower)

    • native eastern North America
    • propagates by runners(stollens) to form clumps, good ground cover
    • flowers late spring
    • provides food for native bees and syrphid flies and seeds for birds



First name is the genus, second name the species, then cultivar and finally in brackets a common name for the plant

Plant information credit: The University of Texas at Austin,,,