Bill MacDonald's Garden

Bill McDonald with his scented Phlox and Bee Balm

At 90 years of age, retired teacher William (Bill) McDonald of Port Elgin, is an active senior who still maintains his home and does all his own yard work.

Dahlias in bloom

He has planted his garden to attract bees and butterflies alike with phlox, bee balm, purple coneflower, rudbekia, impatiens and dahlia's.  "Last winter, I put the dahlias in a closet, not expecting them to live, but when I remembered they were there and went to throw them out, lo and behold, I saw green shoots on them.  

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My granddaughter, Rylee, and I planted them in the spring and they have not only grown but are in beautiful colours of red and pink."

Along the side of his home are his prized tomato plants but, this year, there's a difference.  "Tomato plants depend greatly on bees to pollinate them and, this year, we just don't have the bees.  My plants normally are heavy with blossom and this summer they just aren't there.  I'm very worried about the bees and am concerned that pesticide spraying is having a drastic affect on them."

McDonald is also a prolific grower of coleus that he grows throughout the winter in a sunny window location.  What started as three small plants has multiplied into more than a dozen in all shades from deep purple to variegated white and green.

Active and agile, McDonald is a senior who proves that age is just a number and you're only as old as you feel