We continue our blog post series featuring Monarch Awards' and Caterpillar Awards' winners 2019 in the hope that you too will be inspired to apply this year. In this post, we hear from Lucy Dubeckyj, Caterpillar Award recipient (of the Hamilton Monarch Awards).
Lucy owns a small greenhouse manufacturing business in Dundas. She has always appreciated pollinators. When Lucy heard about the Hamilton Monarch Awards, she applied immediately: “I have never been interested in a Trillium Award, but this one, I could get behind.”
Lucy has been a gardener for a while. When she faced a transitional point in her life, gardening was her therapy and she started digging and planting; "you have total control over your plants, where and how they go, they don’t talk back.”
In choosing her plants, Lucy goes by intuition: “I go with how I feel, I don’t know the names of everything I plant--so this plant is from my sister Stella, that one from my neighbour, Barb.”
Although Lucy appreciates order to a garden, “there is a little bit of room for chaos. I like to surprise visitors when they visit my gardens.”
River of Wildflowers
Every year, Lucy expands the garden out a little more, planting a patch for herself, and another for the pollinators. She mulches regularly and does not use chemical fertilizers. She gathers a lot of seeds from her garden plants, such as from the Zinnias, Blue Saliva, Asters. This growing season, along with plans for a 2 x 8 ft milkweed bed by the shed, she is going to weave in a ribbon of what she describes as a “flower river,” throughout the many hostas and ferns around the back of her property: “It will be an experiment.”
As to what the neighbours think, “I entertain them, they wonder what’s next when they see me with my big shovel” Lucy says. “ I love it when random people walk by and ask, ‘can I look at your back yard?’”
Lucy is happy to be acknowledged for the Caterpillar Award; “I think the Awards are a fabulous way to encourage people,” she ends. “Every little bit helps.”
Lucy promotes a yearly plant sale at St. Augustine’s Church in Dundas, which has evolved from its beginnings as mostly donated perennials to an entire slate of activities including a yard sale, yoga for gardeners and speakers.