Big City, Little Homestead

Living rural in the city is hip and urban – and you can, too.

Category: Rewilding (page 2 of 3)

All articles that pertain to the BCLH service, “Rewilding” – green driveways, native plant landscaping, and bird protection.

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

Six weeks before the frost sets in (traditionally, people consider Canadian Thanksgiving the first-frost date, but it comes later), gardeners can often get an early start on the next year’s garden and crops. This time of year is perfect for doing transplants because roots are not likely to experience water and heat stress. It gives them a chance to establish themselves before the coming winter.

So I decided that it’s time for an event: a fall-oriented gardening session (click to read the outcome) to prepare a garden for next year and plant native species.

This hands-on event for the avid or casual gardener is a collaborative learning opportunity about native and cultivated plants for biodiverse wildlife gardens. We’ll share knowledge on gardening and native species for both shade and sun. You’re also welcome to bring plants from your garden and for swapping with other gardeners.

(More about the event, and then the video!)…

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You’ll never guess what’s been using my green driveway…


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Last night I saw something charming enough that I posted it to the Facebook page, and I’m just going to copy it here. Without a direct video or photo (sorry!) I just have to tell it to you straight.

Tonight I had great satisfaction – and also proof-of-concept– when I came home from a run. As I passed my green driveway on the way in, I startled a small flock of chipping sparrows who were foraging on my green driveway, near the garage door. Success! They are getting more populous in my well-treed neighbourhood.

See more at https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Chipping_Sparrow


By Mdf, Edited by Fir0002Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

I’ve been confused about whether the birds I see are American Tree Sparrows or Chipping Sparrows. I haven’t heard the distinct call of the Tree Sparrow, but I often hear the distinct call of the Chipping Sparrow in spring. This persuaded me which one it was. (You can easily see the American Tree Sparrow and listen to the calls the birds make at the All About Birds link, above).

Since 2012, when I really started paying attention to the birds here in  Little Burgundy, the Chipping Sparrow is increasing in numbers. It will fluctuate, but increases are good. All cities need native habitat and the birds and animals that use it, and the birds will then benefit from cities. There’s already ecological census data indicating that cities are beginning to be beneficial environments for many species, and not just skunks and raccoons!

Plants for Birds – a native garden planning resource

Are you getting ready to plan or plant your garden? If so, Plants for Birds is for you!

It’s a native-plant database (plants that evolved in local landscapes) cross-referenced with the birds that enjoy those plants. Knowing which birds pass through your location along with what kinds of food and shelter they’ll enjoy, it’s a great research tool for making decisions to help wild birds.

For Americans, it’s even better – it’s integrated with local nurseries where you can buy the plants! This aspect won’t apply to Canadian gardeners, as we wouldn’t be able to shop and bring plants back across the border. However, we share some of the same Zones as the northern states (for example, Montreal is in Zone 5). Only distance and our immediate habitat type (for instance, dry and open vs. wet and forested) might differ, so it’s relatively safe to assume we can benefit from this cross-referencing.

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