Gardening with Wildlife

A Milkweed - specifically

A Milkweed – specifically “Butterflyweed” (Asclepia tuberosa)

A Garden and Wildlife Journal from West of Montreal

In a leafy suburb to the west of Montreal we have worked for almost twenty years to transform what was once a somewhat uninteresting square of grass with a few trees and shrubs into 15,000 square feet of bosky varied wildlife habitat that is also full of enough traditional garden plants to gladden the heart of any “real” gardener. Today it is has spring to fall colour and yes, we even have some lawn. Most importantly, it isn’t on the edge of a marsh or backing onto wild countryside miles from anywhere. It certainly isn’t huge. It’s just a regular, medium sized suburban garden that nowadays has an unusually rich and varied list of some 111+ species of birds and innumerable butterflies, moths and other fascinating insects as well as all the suburban and peri-urban mammals you might expect.

Over the years we have given presentations to local groups in which we talk about how anyone can get started in wildlife, and especially bird, gardening. We will gradually make some of our experiences available here in the months ahead. There is something here for everyone, visitors, gardeners and simply those who enjoy what we enjoy.

We publish a weekly post about the plants in the garden (starting in January 2017). We write about what we see each week, the plans we have for improving the site and new and better ways to encourage the birds and other creatures that live or visit here. We hope you will find our material interesting and informative.

You are invited to Follow our weekly journal through the year by sending us your email address (see below). Dive into the accompanying pages to read how that original square of grass has become today’s rich wildlife garden – you will find useful ideas to help you bring the birds to your garden and answer the questions we are often asked about “how to do it”. If you don’t have a garden to work in please feel welcome to enjoy ours as the seasons change and birds come and go.

For convenience, you can choose to have New posts to the Garden Journal delivered directly to your email inbox as they are published. Just enter your address below.  (Your address remains secure, will not be shared with a third party and you can unsubscribe at any time).

If you would like to get in touch with the Wild Garden Gnomes, ask questions or would simply like to chat about wildlife gardening, please click the button below to send us a private email.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Richard & Jean

Contact the Gardeners

This website is just about a garden and the creatures that visit but we have interests elsewhere, frequently involving photography and birding. Check the “Other Good Stuff” link at the top of the page or follow these links:

The Sparroworks Wildlife Co.
Squirrelworks / The Plant Project

Here are quick links to the most recent posts in the Garden Journal …

(Please note … those prior to December 2016 were more occasional posts and not directly associated with the weekly journal)

Raccoons, Robins and Fireflies

Friday, January 20, 2017|1 Comment

When we first came to Canada in 1998 people would constantly tell us in winter that "you should have been here ten years ago - the snow was this high etc etc". We thought it [...]

Marking Time

Friday, January 13, 2017|1 Comment

February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March. ~J.R. Stockton A Note: Maybe a weekly edition is a bit ambitious in mid-winter and so, depending on what happens, [...]

Winter Progresses

Saturday, January 7, 2017|1 Comment

7 January 2017 A moderately cold week to start the new year with a great dollop of heavy, wet snow followed by freezing rain in the middle of the week so that the snow cover [...]

Starting A New Year in the Garden (with wildlife)

Friday, December 30, 2016|1 Comment

New Year's Day 2017 Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let every new year find you a better man.  Benjamin Franklin … and here we are at last [...]

Sowing Some Seasonal Seeds

Sunday, December 18, 2016|7 Comments

I heard a bird sing in the dark of December A magical thing and sweet to remember. "We are nearer to Spring than we were in September,"   Week ending 18 December 2016 Short [...]

Big changes afoot in the garden …

Thursday, December 8, 2016|2 Comments

  A team of highly trained garden gnomes from the Sparroworks Wildlife Co. are spending December digging and delving in the internet and re-landscaping this website ( with the intention of (a) making it [...]

Subtle colours

Wednesday, November 2, 2016|0 Comments

The leaves are falling everywhere now and the flashy bright oranges and reds that this part of the world is famous for are over and gone ... which leaves us with some really attractive [...]

Late August Flowers

Saturday, August 20, 2016|0 Comments

Lots of colour in the garden this summer ... these two are particularly splendid right now Lobelia cardinalis