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.
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.
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!
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.
This is a long-running “lifestyle” blog about the pleasures of living like a farm kid in an urban context. You’ll find a wide range of topics that pertain to food, crafts, energy efficiency, and DIY. There’s a big focus on ecology and wildlife because this has brought me a lot joy – but this is also the greatest potential we have of restoring some balance to nature where we live.
Given that, I’ve turned my attention to providing more content for people to switch traditional lawns over to native landscaping and green driveways and things that will support climate readiness, drought and flood-prevention, and increased habitat for biodiversity. Comments and questions are welcome!
If you’re in the Montreal region, you can also use my “Rewilding” service to landscape your property using native plants, convert to a green driveway, and prevent your windows from killing birds.
My mission is to engage you to appreciate ecological resilience and encourage you to take steps to live closer to the land. I want people to increase the beauty, biodiversity, and climate-change readiness our towns, cities, and regions. That begins with homeowners, small business owners – people who own property. Change the way we typically do things, and we change the world.
Rewilding is about converting your lawn to groundcover (bit by bit!) to native species. This fosters biodiversity. It also creates habitat for urban wildlife. Finally, you'll only trim it 2-3 times per season rather than every 7-10 days!
The green driveway gallery shows you how you can DIY a driveway conversation using my first model as an example. There are other ways to do it, and things I learned in the process and afterward. Please call me at 514-815-5163 for my landscaping service, or to discuss upgrading your driveway.
The work season is April 1st through June 30th, but I install bird strike prevention (to stop birds from crashing into windows and glass balconies) whenever the temperature is above 5ºC. Call the number above or email. It's important to do this earlier rather than later, in time for bird migrations in late April to end of May, and late August to mid-October.
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