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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - December 30, 2009

From: montreal, QC
Region: Canada
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: Wildlife Habitat Restoration in Quebec, Canada
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Hi there. What are the best trees and shrubs for wildlife restoration in Quebec? thanks!

ANSWER:

Your question is far too broad to answer with a specific list of plants but we can point you in the right direction so that you can find the information you need.

You don't mention whether you are in an urban, suburban or rural situation and whether you are planning a wildlife habitat garden in your back yard or a true ecological restoration of a woodland, meadow or pond/marsh habitat of an acre or more.

Regardless of the size of your endeavour, you will find the Evergreen.ca website and database a huge help.  You can learn more about natural habitat gardens and then search the database for help with plant selection.  You can also visit our Native plant Information Network and do a combination search for your area and particular conditions to generate a list of plants.  The National Wildlife Federation also has a wealth of information on how to plan, plant and have a wildliife habitat garden certified.

If you are planning a larger restoration, you will want to do more research. Environment Canada's Terrestrial Ecozone Map indicates that you are in the St. Lawrence Lowlands Ecoregion of the Mixedwoods Plains Ecozone of Canada. Read the description of this ecoregion and look at what is already native to your area and then visit the NatureServe website and search their database by location. Select the appropriate ecological system to generate a plant list. Their database is a little less user friendly than the other ones, but if you nose around a bit you should find what you are looking for.

From there, the process is the same as planting any garden ... find the plants and plant them!

If you want to learn more about ecological restoration, I would recommend an online correspondence course offered by the University of Guelph, "The Naturalized Landscape" which is part of their Sustainable Landscapes Certificate Program.

These links should keep you busy for a while and get you headed in the right direction.  If you have trouble with them or need more help once you have a better idea of what you would like to accomplish, please do not hesitate to contact us again and your question will be directed to me, as I have more northern experience than the other green gurus sitting around here, basking in the warm Texas sunshine!

 

 

 

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