Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city.

Tag: Rewilding(page 1 of 2)

“Rewilding” your property converts it from the look of traditional landscaping to one of native landscaping. It uses limited paving to create artfully natural meadows and gardens. It uses shrubs, trees, and climbing vegetation for shade and cooling of the garden and the dwelling. Garden water features (ponds and fountains) attract wildlife. It also provides ways to retain water for the garden or drain water naturally away from the dwelling. It replaces asphalt driveways with limited paving and lawn. This retains water, cools the area, and provides beauty and habitat to pollinators and humans alike.
With greater attraction for birds, it makes sense to prevent them from striking your windows – so Rewilding does that, too. We use bird-saving devices on your windows and glass balconies to minimally interrupt human views, while saying loud and clear to birds “this isn’t sky, so don’t fly!”

When I got home from the nursery for the Rewilding garden session, I took this video of my bunnies and the butterflies in the garden, for your enjoyment. (You have to click through to the Facebook post if you want my narration.)


The results of the Rewilding garden session

Early Saturday morning, I got up early to make it up to Pepinière Jasmin– where you can always find some native/indigenous plants, even at the end of the planting season. One of the native plant suppliers was Aiglon Indigo.

I got the following plants for the garden and the walls of my house: Continue reading

Do you hate mowing the lawn? I used to – many hours as a child, and lots of gasoline spent for the purpose.

A friend just turned me on to last week’s Freakonomics podcast episode on America’s obsession with lawns. It has a lot of different points of view and recommendations on what to do differently; native species, alternative lawn care, and urban agriculture are some of the topics. Listen here:

If you prefer to read an article instead, there’s 2013’sOutgrowing the Traditional Grass Lawn – Scientific American Blog Network.

The ideas we are trying to implement at Rewilding have been around a few years now. it takes time for people to accept and adapt. If you have a yard, please consider turning it into a meadow or something equally hospitable. We’ll help you.

Plants for Birds – a native garden planning resource

Are you getting ready to plan your garden? If so, here’s a find! While its integration with local merchants doesn’t apply to Canadian gardeners (as we wouldn’t be able to shop and bring plants back across the border), we share some of the same Zones as the northern states (for example, Montreal is in Zone 5). As a Native Plants database cross-referenced with birds that enjoy those plants, it’s great research for making decisions — that migrating birds can then benefit from, as they pass through.

How to use it:

You have to enter your email address and a US zip code. Montreal is closest to Champlain, NY, so Ilooked it up at

(Entering your details gives you direct access to the database, no need for a subscription confirmation.)

Armed with plant ideas and information (from all the pretty pictures!), we can then enquire at local nurseries, plan, and plant.

What’s one thing you can do today to help birds? Grow bird-friendly plants!

The Audubon Society launched a website called “Plants for Birds” that helps American gardeners find plants in their area that will encourage birds to visit and stay awhile. Click the pictures go to the website.

Birds, in order: male Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Black-throated Blue Warbler, American Goldfinch, female Ruby-throated Hummingbird,

Source: Plants for Birds

While we are talking about making gardens more welcoming to our friendly feathered friends, one of the best things you can do is install a water feature. A birdbath or a pond will always attract wildlife and insect pollinators (as well as mosquitos, if it’s standing water – so clean out the bird bath regularly). Here’s how you can make a simple bird bath, from the folks at Audubon:

How to Make a Birdbath | Audubon

Bumblebees are important pollinators of native and fruiting crops, and Rusty-patched Bumblebees have been decimated by 90% of earlier population counts. They have finally been granted Endangered status in the United States. This article gives you all the details on the bumblebee and its status.

In one of the comments, a reader writes that people in the midwest can create habitat for the bees by ripping out their manicured lawns and creating meadow replacements with water features.

I highly agree.

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