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Resources: Activities

In the list of resources below, you will find Web sites and publications with detailed information to help you start exploring activities related to native plant gardening and conservation.

This list will continue to grow. Please check back for updates.

Balcony Gardening

Rooftop Gardening

Butterfly Gardening

School-Ground Greening

Ecological Restoration

Shoreline Rehabilitation

Guerrilla Gardening

Stewardship

Native Plant Gardening

Wildlife Gardening

Naturalized Gardening

Xeriscaping

Organic Gardening

 

Don't overlook our list of provincial, national and international organizations that are concerned with native plants.

Balcony Gardening

Wild about Gardening
Information is provided by the Canadian Wildlife Federation on considerations for planting on a balcony or patio. Includes a list of suggested plants.
http://www.wildaboutgardening.org/en/growing/section2
/index.htm#l3

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Butterfly Gardening

Butterfly Gardening
The online version of Horticultural Leaflet 1E4 from the Montréal Botanical Garden. Includes information on planning your site, choosing plants (with suggested species), knowing your environment, nectar plants, host plants, laying out your garden, further reading, and links to other Web sites that address butterfly gardening.
http://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/jardin/en/info_verte
/papillons/papillons.htm

Butterfly Gardening: Attracting Butterflies to Gardens in the Great Lakes Watershed.
A two-page information sheet on creating a habitat to attract butterflies, from the North American Native Plant Society.
http://www.nanps.org/pdfs/butterfact.pdf

Gardening for Butterflies
This Web site reflects the practical experience and knowledge of members of the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, which is a long-term project of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club. Includes information on habitat requirements and suggested plant lists.
http://www.ofnc.ca/fletcher/howto/htbutter.php

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Ecological Restoration

Geological History
This section of the Old Field Garden Web site provides a better understanding of factors that come into play when doing ecological restoration from a geological perspective.
http://www.oldfieldgarden.on.ca/history.html

Ground Work: Basic Concept of Ecological Restoration in British Columbia
This publication, by ecologist Don Gayton, provides an introduction to ecological restoration, including principles and issues that apply to a variety of projects. It also presents a brief history, challenges, community involvement, steps to setting up a restoration project and many other practical resources.
http://www.forrex.org/publications/FORREXSeries/ss3.pdf

How Much Habitat is Enough? A Framework for Guiding Habitat Rehabilitation in Great Lakes Areas of Concern
This document from Environment Canada provides science-based information and general guidelines to assist people involved in natural heritage conservation and preservation in ensuring there is adequate wetland, riparian and forest habitat to sustain minimum viable wildlife populations and help maintain selected ecosystem functions and attributes.
http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/docs/habitatframework-e.html

A Landowner's Guide: Conservation of Canadian Prairie Grasslands
This guide has been prepared to encourage and provide ideas on how to retain native grass holdings in a productive condition, both for your benefit and for the benefit of the wildlife that depends on that habitat. Written by Garry C. Trottier and published by authority of the Minister of the Environment - Canadian Wildlife Service, on the Environment Canada Web site.
http://www.mb.ec.gc.ca/nature/whp/prgrass/df03s00.en.html

Planting the Seed: A Guide to Establishing Aquatic Plants
This booklet has been compiled by Environment Canada to provide an introductory guide to establishing aquatic plants in the Great Lakes basin.
http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/docs/doc-planting-e.html

Planting the Seed: A Guide to Establishing Prairie and Meadow Communities in Southern Ontario
This introductory guide by Environment Canada is designed to assist people interested in planting prairie and meadow, two of Ontario's non-forested plant communities. The guide looks at the often-confusing array of options, and offers recommendations drawn from the experience of many practitioners working in Southern Ontario
http://www.on.ec.gc.ca/wildlife/docs/doc-planting-prairie-e.html

Prairie and Meadow Communities
This four-page fact sheet from Evergreen provides some practical tips on establishing a prairie or meadow habitat.
http://www.evergreen.ca/docs/res/CG2-Prairie-Meadow-Communities.pdf

Woodland Communities
This four-page fact sheet from Evergreen provides some practical tips on establishing a woodland habitat.
http://www.evergreen.ca/docs/res/CG3-Woodland-Communities.pdf

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Guerrilla Gardening

Green Guerillas
Since 1973, Green Guerillas has helped thousands of people realize their dreams of turning vacant rubble-strewn lots into vibrant community gardens. Each year Green Guerillas works with hundreds of grassroots groups throughout New York City to strengthen underserved neighbourhoods through community gardening.
http://www.greenguerillas.org

Northern Gardening - Guerrilla Gardening
Mary Henry's take on guerrilla gardening, from Suite 101.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/northern_gardening/76990/1

Seeds of Success: Growing Healthy Communities through Community Gardening
Written and researched by E. MacNair under the auspices of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance, Seeds of Success explores how community gardens are managed in a select group of cities in Canada and the United States. Although land tenure is the primary focus of this publication, significant attention has been devoted to describing policy, programming and community initiatives.
http://www.polisproject.org/researchareas/
urbansustainability/growinghealthy

 

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Native Plant Gardening / Naturalized Gardening

Definitely in My Backyard: Making the Best Choices for You and the Environment
Developed by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), this eight-page brochure summarizes the results of a two-year-long study that investigated seven residential-landscape options.
http://www.evergreen.ca/en/hg/hg-backyard.pdf

Evergreen Native Plant Database
An interactive database created by volunteers at Evergreen with information about native tree, shrub, wildflower, grass, aquatic and vine species for all of Canada.
http://www.evergreen.ca/nativeplants/index.php

Grow Wild!: Native-Plant Gardening in Canada and Northern United States
This book, by Lorraine Johnson, describes the trend of native-plant gardening, profiles successful native plant gardens across northern North America and also includes native plant lists, a resource directory that details native plant gardens worth visiting in each ecological region, practical advice on how to create a native plant garden, and an excellent bibliography for further reading. Published in 1998 by Random House of Canada.

Home Grounds: Getting Started
Written by Lorraine Johnson, Home Grounds encourages Canadians to engage in home-based naturalization initiatives. Contains easy-to-follow tips for creating woodland, meadow, prairie or wetland habitat gardens.

An Insider's Guide to Natives - Canadian Gardening Magazine
A short article by Lorraine Johnson on the philosophy of home gardening with native plants.
http://www.canadiangardening.com/plants/native-plants-and-wildflowers/an-insider-s-guide-to-growing-native-plants/a/1590

Native Garden Plants
In order to help native plant gardeners find species that are suitable to their gardens' conditions, several pond, meadow and woodland native plant species are profiled.
http://nature.ca/discover/ntvplnts/ntvplnts_e.cfm

Native Plant Gardening: An Introduction to the Benefits of Landscaping with Nature
A two-page leaflet introducing gardening with native plants, from North American Native Plant Society.
http://www.nanps.org/pdfs/nativefact.pdf

Native Plant Resource Guide for Ontario
This guide provides a list of suppliers to help you find appropriate sources of seeds or plants for ecological restoration or natural landscaping projects. Also included is information on the important steps to successful planning, establishment, and maintenance of native plantings as well as questions you should ask suppliers. Published in 2007 by the Ontario Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration. A 2009-2010 version is under development.
http://www.serontario.org/index.htm

Native Plants for the Home Garden in South Coastal British Columbia (Georgia Basin)
A two-page leaflet from Naturescape British Columbia that will help you choose the best native plants for the different sites in your garden. Categorized by plants suited for sunny spots, partial shade and shady woodlands. Information is also given on type, height, features, soil conditions needed and wildlife values. http://www.naturescapebc.ca/naturescape/NativePlants.pdf

Native Trees for Gardeners in the Great Lakes Watershed
A two-page information sheet from the North American Native Plant Society by T. Atkinson introducing the benefits and basics of planting native trees.
http://www.nanps.org/pdfs/treefact.pdf

Native Wildflower Gardening
A fact sheet from the Toronto Botanical Garden includes some plant choices and guidelines for plants collected from the wild.
http://www.torontobotanicalgarden.ca/mastergardener/
Wildflowers.shtml

The Old Field Garden and Wild Flower Nursery
This landscape restoration project is near Ottawa, Ontario. The original project was to enrich the biodiversity of an abandoned pasture, and eventually it resulted in the development of a native plant nursery. The methods of propagation that they follow in order to preserve genetic diversity are exemplary and their description is particularly educational.
http://www.oldfieldgarden.on.ca/list.html

Wild about Gardening
The Canadian Wildlife Federation's Web site includes a variety of sections on planning and building a wildlife friendly garden. http://www.cwf-fcf.org/en/what-we-do/habitat/
get-gardening/gardening-in-small-spaces/

Among the sections of interest for native plant gardening:

Wild Ones: Native Plants, Natural Landscapes - Landscaping with Native Plants
This handbook represents years of experience regarding natural landscaping techniques while recognising that native plant culture and propagation theories continue to develop.
http://www.epa.gov/greenacres/wildones/wo_2004b.pdf

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Organic Gardening

Canadian Organic Growers Library
The Canadian Organic Growers operates a lending library for members. A list of holdings is available as a 36-page PDF document.
http://www.cog.ca/library.htm

 

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Rooftop Gardening

Greenbacks from Green Roofs: Forging a New Industry in Canada
A fact sheet from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) summarizing research and recommendations on green roof and vertical garden technologies for residential, institutional, industrial and commercial buildings.
http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/odpub/pdf/62665.pdf

Green Roofs
This short article by W. Roberts describes some of the benefits of green roofs. Published by the City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture.
http://www.cityfarmer.org/greenroofTO.html

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School-Ground Greening

Greening Canada's School Grounds
Tree Canada provides information about the steps involved in school-ground greening and a source of funding for such projects. http://www.treecanada.ca/site/?page=programs_school&lang=en

The Learning Grounds Guide for Schools
A 96-page guide to planning and implementing a school-ground greening project. Written by D. Morton, T. Cameron and J. Hayes.
http://www.evergreen.ca/en/lg/lg-guide.pdf

Schoolgrounds Transformation
The Canadian Biodiversity Institute provides information for schools to transform their grounds into biologically diverse outdoor classrooms and healthy enjoyable play and social spaces. Includes information on planning, types of projects, site design, plant lists and other resources.
http://www.biodiversityonline.ca/schoolgrounds/home.html

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Shoreline Rehabilitation

The Living by Water Project
Some basics on restoring and/or maintaining native plants for shoreline residents. Adapted from On the Living Edge: Your Handbook for Waterfront Living by Sarah Kipp and Clive Callaway.
http://www.livingbywater.ca/nativeplants.html

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Stewardship

Land Stewardship Resource Centre
A searchable electronic clearing house and free educational referral service from the Land Stewardship Centre of Canada. Designed for land stewards everywhere, it contains a wealth of information about user-friendly, land-use conservation practices, programs, agencies and referrals for hundreds of resources -- from books and videos to Web sites.
http://www.landstewardship.org/ls_whatis.asp

Ontario Stewardship
A programme of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources wherein stewardship councils are set up that link landowners, land interest groups and agencies in order to encourage responsible land care on private land. The site provides links to fact sheets, workshops-in-a-box and demonstration projects, amongst other resources.
http://www.ontariostewardship.org/ontarioStewardship/
home/osIndex.asp

Stewardship Canada
This Web portal provides access to organisations, people, projects, events and resources that support engagement in stewardship activities in Canada. This site supports the implementation of Canada's Stewardship Agenda.
http://www.stewardshipcanada.ca

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Wildlife Gardening

Caring for Wildlife Habitat at Home: Provincial Guide
This guide from Naturescape British Columbia, by S. Campbell and S. Pincott, explains how to plan projects that help restore, preserve and enhance wildlife habitat in urban and rural landscapes in British Columbia. It describes the various types of elements than can be used in creating habitat, and it gives tips on how to maintain your results. It includes sections on wildlife habitats, wildlife shelter, food for wildlife, flowering plants for attracting hummingbirds, water for wildlife, a butterfly garden plant list and more. http://www.naturescapebc.ca/naturescape/Provincal_Guide_2003.pdf

Landscaping for Winter Birds
A list by the National Gardening Association of some common North American birds, their favourite food sources, and a short list of trees and shrubs that attract birds.
http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id=764

Make Your Own Wildlife Garden
A series of features prepared by the Fletcher Wildlife Garden, a long-term project of the Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club, that cover topics such as: "What is a 'wildlife garden' anyway?", "Attracting bats to your yard", "Attracting birds to your garden", "Build a backyard pond for wildlife", "A schoolyard sanctuary".
http://www.ofnc.ca/fletcher.php

Native Shrubs for Wildlife
A two-page information sheet from the North American Native Plant Society, by T. Atkinson, that describes several shrubs that provide food or nesting-comfort for wildlife.
http://www.nanps.org/pdfs/shrubfactfront.pdf
http://www.nanps.org/pdfs/shrubfactback.pdf

Planning a Hummingbird Garden
This article from the National Gardening Association, by B. Thompson III, provides some tips for attracting hummingbirds to a garden. Includes suggestions for some flowers and feeders.
http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id=703

Planting a Pollinator Garden
A short list from the National Gardening Association of pollinators, their favourite flowers, and tips for planning a pollinator garden.
http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id=1978

Wild about Gardening
This special site developed by the Canadian Wildlife Federation provides varied information about gardening for wildlife.
http://www.wildaboutgardening.org

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Xeriscaping

Xeriscaping
Produced by the non-profit group Green Venture in association with the City of Hamilton, this site provides information on the principles to consider when xeriscaping.
http://water.greenventure.ca/xeriscaping

Xeriscaping - Water Wise Gardening
This site, by the City of Calgary, provides a summary of the main principles of xeriscaping. A list of water-wise plant recommendations for local gardens is also provided. http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server.pt/gateway/
PTARGS_0_2_760119_0_0_18/Water+Wise+Gardening.htm


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Tug on anything in nature and you will find it connected to everything else.

- John Muir

Lowbush blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium S75-4567.
View larger version.

The lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) can grow as tall as 60 cm, but usually reaches less than 35 cm. It has both erect and spreading branches. Each mature shrub's height is determined primarily by the amount of sunlight it receives: as the length of daylight hours decreases, vegetative (i.e. green) growth stops. The floral buds that will produce next year's berries begin to form at this point. The low height is advantageous because the highest buds are the last to be formed, and they are the least resistant to the deepest cold of winter.


 

 
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