The Library Commons Garden is planted with species that are native or are near natives of the Nogojiwanong (Peterborough) area. Native plants are part of our local ecology and are crucial to support insects, pollinators, birds, and other local wildlife. By creating this refuge for biodiversity, the Garden brings nature into the heart of the City for the benefit of the whole community. 

Learn about the Plants in the Garden

Here's why we chose to create a native plant garden:

Locally grown, and sourced, native plants are adapted to our local climate
  • This means they don’t need much extra care from us in order to thrive.

  • The rain that naturally falls here is exactly the right amount of water they need.


Wild chivesNative plants provide habitat, food and shelter for local wildlife and increase biodiversity 
  • Native plants attract bumble bees, butterflies, and birds to the area.

  • Most of our native caterpillars are dependent on very specific native plants for food. Monarch caterpillars can only eat Milkweed (Asclepias) for example. By providing a variety of native plant species, we can support the full life cycles of many native butterflies. 

  • Caterpillars are the main food source for songbirds in the spring to rear their young. More native plants mean more caterpillars which support more songbirds!

  • Many non-native plants are inedible to our native insects, which are the base of our local food web. When we use non-native plants in our gardens, we are creating a food desert that does not support the local ecology.


Butterflyweed with bumblebeeNative plants are just as beautiful as non-native landscape plants
  • We are blessed with a wide variety of beautiful native plants to use in our gardens.
  • Locally grown, and locally sourced, native plants can create beautiful gardens that are also ecologically functional.

  • Using native plants in our gardens fosters a deeper appreciation for the beauty of our natural areas. 

  • Many local nurseries now sell native plants.
The Library Commons Garden is free from pesticides and synthetic fertilizers
  • Since our goal is to support local biodiversity, we use only natural gardening techniques to care for the gardens. 
  • Pesticides and synthetic fertilizers are poisonous for local wildlife, as well as people.
  • Native plants have evolved alongside our native insects for millennia, so there is already a balance in place. This reduces the need for pesticides.

The Library Commons Garden was created in partnership with the Peterborough and Area Master Gardeners and the Peterborough Public Library, and sponsored through funding from the Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors (PKAR). 

Peterborough Public Library Logo

Master Gardeners Logo

Peterborough and the Kawarthas Association of Realtors Logo


Community Seed Exchange

Community Seed Exchange at the LibraryThe Library is home to the Peterborough Community Seed Exchange. Thank you to our friends at Nogojiwanong Mutual Aid for making the Seed Exchange possible!

If you have extra seeds, feel free to drop them off and pick up some new ones. Try not to take more than you leave behind, the Seed Exchange operates on the honour system.

Some of the seeds in the exchange are harvested from the native plants in the Library Commons Garden.