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).

Get in touch with the Wild Garden Gnomes. To ask questions or 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)

Cardinal Carnival

Friday, February 24, 2017|0 Comments

What a difference … although it's due to cool down a bit next week, this week has seen temperatures soaring (13C on the day this is being written) to levels so far above normal [...]

Dopes in Winter

Saturday, February 18, 2017|2 Comments

Quite the week for snow as winter finally starts to show signs, albeit very slight signs, of heading towards the end of its run. Days are notably longer and the sun is higher in [...]

Quite the Week

Friday, February 10, 2017|1 Comment

This winter's weather has seen a series of weaker than usual systems caused by erratic behaviour of the jetstream; a night or so of plunging temperatures followed by rapid warming resulting in snow freezing [...]

Quiet times

Saturday, February 4, 2017|2 Comments

A quiet week in the garden with several cold nights, very cold nights to make everything keep its collective head down. Nevertheless, signs of approaching spring with birds such as the American Crows and [...]

Territorial activity and help with identification

Friday, January 27, 2017|1 Comment

“They can cut all the flowers, but they can't stop the spring...”   -   Pablo Neruda. It’s been a messy week in the garden weather-wise. Not terribly cold but a promised snow dump turned [...]

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 [...]