Recommended Reading


The following books are ones that I have read over the years and found useful in one way or another on my path to gardening for wildlife in Canada. Although many on the list are Canadian books, some of them are either American or British, and they were helpful nonetheless. Many of the native plants and wildlife that live in the U.S. also live in Canada. Many of the principles that apply in the U.S. and the U.K. also apply in Canada.

I will add more literature on the provinces and territories as I continue in this ongoing project, a work in progress.

*Titles followed by an asterisk are highly recommended

Reading List

Wildlife Gardens

The New Ontario Naturalized Garden by Lorraine Johnson (Cdn.)*

100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants: for Canadian Gardeners by Lorraine Johnson (Cdn.)*

The New Gardening for Wildlife: A Guide for Nature Lovers (B.C.)

Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy (U.S.)*

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden by Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy (U.S.)*

The Naturescaping Workbook: A step-by-step guide for bringing nature to your back yard by Beth O’Donnell Young (U.S.)*

The Bird Garden: A comprehensive guide to attracting birds to your backyard throughout the year by Stephen W. Kress, Forward by Tory Peterson

How to Create a Wildlife Garden by Christine and Michael Lavelle (UK)

The Wild Garden by Robinson with Darke (U.S.)

The Bird Garden by Stephen W. Kress (U.S.)

Attracting Birds, Butterflies and other Backyard Wildlife by National Wildlife Federation with David Mizejewski (U.S.)

Birds in your Backyard: A Bird Lover’s Guide to Creating a Garden Sanctuary by Birds and Blooms (Reader’s Digest) with Robert J. Dolezal

Gardening for the Birds: How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard by George Adams (U.S.)

Garden Secrets for Attracting Birds: A Bird-by-Bird Guide to Favored Plants by Creative Homeowner with Rachel Lanicci

General Gardening in Canada

The New Canadian Garden by Mark Cullen*

The Canadian Gardening Guide (DK) Editor Lorraine Johnson*

Canadian Encyclopedia of Gardening by Christopher Brickell and Trevor Cole

Plants and Trees in Canada

Trees in Canada by John Laird Farrar*

Forest Plants of Central Ontario by Chambers, Legasey, Bentley*

Beautiful Non-invasive Plants for your Garden: A Guide for Southern Ontario Fall 2011 Edition (Grow Me Instead) by the Ontario Native Plant Council

Complete Guide to Trees and Shrubs by Ortho Books (U.S.)

Trees, Shrubs and Hedges for your Home by Creative Homeowner (U.S.)

Tree and Shrub Guide for Ontario by Beck and Renwald

Ontario Wildflowers by Linda Kershaw*

Tree and Shrub Gardening for Ontario by Beck & Renwald

Wildflowers Across the Prairies by Greystone Books (Vance et Al.)*

Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains and Neighbouring Territories by Terry Willard, Ph. D.

Ancestral Plants by Arthur Haines


Birds of Canada by Fred J. Alsop III (Cdn.)*

Smithsonian Field Guide to the Birds of North America by Ted Floyd *

Lives of North American Birds by Kenn Kaufman

Birds of Ottawa by Gerald McKeating (Cdn.)

Garden Bugs of Ontario by Foster, Fry, Macauley*

Birds of Alberta by Chris Fisher and John Acorn*

Birdfeeder Book by Donald and Lillian Stokes (U.S.)

A Complete Guide to Bird Feeding by John V. Dennis

Eastern Birds by Peterson Field Guides Houghton, Mifflin

Garden Secrets for Attracting Birds by Creative Homeowners

Birds in Your Garden by Reader’s Digest

Enjoying Bluebirds More by BirdWatcher’s Digest (Backyard Booklet Series, including cardinals, woodpeckers, bats, butterflies, etc.)

Reducing Lawns

Front Yard Gardens by Primeau/Firefly (U.S.)

Beautiful No-Mow Yards by Evelyn J. Hadden (U.K.)*

Garden Design Principles

Encyclopedia of Garden Design by Fog City Press/Consultant Editor Jennifer Stackhouse

Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell/Rodale

The Book of Garden Design by John Brookes

The Small Garden by  John Brookes

Design Ideas for Home Landscaping by Creative Homeowner

All About Vines and Climbers by Ortho Books/Meredith Books

Rain Gardens

Rain Garden by Steiner & Domm (U.S.)*

Water Gardens

Canadian Gardener’s Water in the Garden from Canadian Gardening Magazine (Cdn.)

Complete Guide to Water Gardens by Creative Homeowner (U.S.)

Creating Water Gardens by Ortho (U.S.)

Natural Water Gardens (Water Garden Handbooks) by Philip Swindells

Woodland Gardens

Gardening with Woodland Plants by Karen Junker (U.K.)

Making the Most of Shade by Larry Hodgson (U.S.)

Native Ferns, Moss and Grasses by William Cullina (U.S.)

The New Shade Garden by Ken Druse (U.S.)*

Organic Gardening

The Elements of Organic Gardening by HRH The Prince of Wales (U.K.)*

Harmony: A New Way of Looking at our World by The Prince of Wales with Tony Juniper and Ian Kelly (U.K.)

The Green Gardener Guide: Simple, Significant Actions to Protect & Preserve our Planet by Joe Lamp’l (U.S.)

The Truth about Organic Gardening by Jeff Gillman (U.S.)

(See other books about organic gardening on the book shelf)

Field Guides

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Trees, North America,   Alfred A. Knopf*

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Butterflies, North America, Alfred A. Knopf*

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders, North America, Alfred A. Knopf*


Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway (U.S.)* (reader)*

Second Nature by Michael Pollan (U.S.)*

Jerry Baker’s Old Time Gardening Wisdom by Jerry Baker (“Grandma Putt said ‘Let the birds eat the bugs.’”) (U.S.)*

Island of Biodiversity: A Natural History of the North Russell Red Shale Hill (Landscape Art & Science Series) by Aleta Karstad, Frederick W. Scchueler, Candice Vetter

Also Recommended: Gardener’s Design Set (Lee Valley Tools LC214) (includes color wheel, book Designing Your Garden and Landscapes and a landscape design template.