BCLH’s “Rewilding” service is available again for the April – June 2019 migration and planting season. If you’re considering making your driveway a green one, converting over a portion of your yard and garden to no- or low-mow native plants, or you’d like to take practical action to save the birds, contact me. Also, subscribe to the monthly newsletter, and send in any DIY questions you have!

Due to the popularity of this post (the fact that you’re reading it), I’ll be doing an annual blog post as soon as the information is available on when the plant give-away weekends take place across various parts of Montreal. I’ll do my best to find out when it is at least by the first weekend in May — which is when you might want to go shopping for seedlings, anyway.

2019’s event announcement is here.

Jane, april 2019

If you like gardening, there’s always a weekend in May that’s our big gardening weekend. It’s like a coördinated extravaganza to get people motivated to get their plants into the ground at the best possible time. Events usually happen the same weekend, including native and ornamental plant sales such as at the Botanical Garden.

Call 311 for your area. The giveaway usually begins at 9 or 10 AM, with a few (3 – 4) locations for each borough. Arrive early; the line-ups are usually half an hour to an hour long. Depending on where you go, sometimes coffee and snacks are graciously provided by a sponsor.

This same weekend is when some (not all) boroughs of the Ville give away plants to residents for their balconies and yards. They are not well-advertised because even without advertising, they still draw a huge crowd.

Remember to bring your ID, a pail for your compost, and a sturdy bin or bags for your plants

Eternal opportunities to get free plants:

Sometimes the big gardening weekend includes an event such as Le Partage Végétal. It’s a gardening event courtesy of PlantCatching. Follow their Facebook page for more details (indeed, follow Big City, Little Homestead’s page, where I announce it, too).

PlantCatching does for plants like what BookCrossing does for books. You can use it to find out who’s giving away free plants and supplies, but you can also use it to give your stuff away:

  1. Announce the type and location of gardening materials that you’re giving away so that others can find it.
  2. Generate a tag for your giveaway. Print the tag, or write a note that includes the website URL code.
  3. Attach it to the plant, seed, rootstock, soil, compost, or containers you’re putting out.
  4. Put the giveaway somewhere it can be found. You may “advertise” by putting them out for any passer-by, and this will help publicize PlantCatching. You can also put it in a secret location for those who know where to look.
Plantcatching, a way to share garden supplies
Plantcatching, a way to share garden supplies

This blog post first published May, 2016 and I’ve updated it most years since then.


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