Monthly Archives: April 2013


Site No.:  103  Type:  Residential Garden   Size:  8000sqft  Goal:  Native Plant site  Status: N3  Zone: Carolinian Canada  City/county:  Toronto  State/Province/District:  Ontario  Country:  Canada


This garden was begun by my grandfather.  Once upon a time it was the site of a productive wetland nestled between forest and farm.  With “development” came devastation…rows of lawns and strawberry-box houses.  When our family first arrived, there were garter snakes, foxes, pheasants, hummingbirds, chipmunks.  As the surrounding land “developed”, these all disappeared.  Grandfather planted what nurseries sold…Austrian pine, spreading juniper, Chinese yew, roses.  As they grew, they provided some habitat; the yews have long been nesting sites for cardinals, the pine attract a variety of birds, the juniper became cover for rabbits and skunks.  A pair of ducks briefly visit the swimming pool each spring.  Still, it wasn’t until my til my aunt added a native meadow, trees, and shrubs, that wildlife really returned.  The yard is once again filled with bees, butterflies and other pollinators.  The ducks stayed and raised a brood.  It’s still a young garden and can’t approach the diversity that once was here, but every year I add more species (plants) and as a result, more species find this small oasis of nativity amid a sea of desert-lawn.  I think Grandfather would be pleased.

Top 10 Species: (links to USDA plants database)
Butterfly Milkweed  Asclepias tuberosa
Pussytoes  Antennaria howellii  (one of at least 3 different species in the garden)
Cup plant  Silphium perfoliatum
Tamarack  Larix laricina
Grey Birch  Betula populifolia
New York Ironweed  Vernonia noveboracensis
Eastern Red bud  Cercis canadensis
Black Cherry  Prunus serotina
Paleleaf Woodland Sunflower  Helianthus strumosus
Trumpet Creeper  Campsis radicans

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