Every year I get excited to reap the harvest of our efforts off the land. The cool weather, turning leaves, and migrating wildlife gets my excitement level up. Working with native plants affords me the pleasure of seeing a unique perspective inside of the seasons. For instance, we (CSR, Inc) typically start to harvest several species of spring ephemerals as early as late April and continue to harvest seed throughout the entire summer and into the late fall. We finish up with sagebrush seed … [Read More...]
Welcome to Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens! We are a team of passionate professionals from all over North America: authors, professors, writers, landscape designers, biologists, botanists, gardeners, and photographers. We share a mission that native plants are vital to healthy ecosystems, and by adding more native plants to our landscapes we will create better habitat for birds, butterflies, native bees, and other wildlife.
Don’t Miss the Wren Song Community
Free Exclusive Content and Member's Forum
Sign up for a free membership in the Wren Song Community and you'll have access to a lot more valuable information published exclusively for our members.
Meet other passionate wildlife gardeners from around the country. Share your successes. Learn from your failures. Discover the best resources to help you create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your gardens with native plants so that you will attract more birds, butterflies, native pollinators, and other wildlife to your garden.
What do people say when you ask them what things they associate with a park? Mary Jo Aagerstoun demanded. Answering her own question before pausing for a reply, she says, They think about picnics, soccer, and tennis. All of which are humancentric. Our parks need to be so much more, they can BE so … [Read More...]
Creating your own habitat garden filled with native plants is easier than you think. Here's a simple recipe for an autumn habitat garden filled with goodies for local wildlife that calls your garden home. 1) Start with some autumn blooming flowers, like goldenrod (Solidago) and false aster … [Read More...]
My city is making strides, bit by bit, in creating areas of partly native plant landscapes. It's certainly good to see. Yet new spaces are still often dominated by the same exotic plants you'd see in any city across the country (Karl Foerster I'm looking at you) and large slabs of impermeable … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
It is Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) season at my place. Every year at this time they set up shop…often you’ll find them hovering and protecting their egg sac for weeks. Momma does tend to the little ones. While technically spiders are not insects as they have 8 legs (they are Arachnids), … [Read More...]
I have discussed bumble bees several times before because they are among the most frequent visitors to the native plant garden, playing a useful role in it. In separate posts I covered their biology, their colonies, their enemies, and their capacity for learning and remembering. Now, let us see what … [Read More...]
Everything about rattlesnake master is bold and wild - strong, upright flowerstalks, spine-edged silver foliage and spikey, spherical, white flowerheads. Combine this prairie perennial with any other medium-height perennial for a fantastic contrast in texture and form. Use this plant massed in … [Read More...]
It's easy to get excited about planning and planting in spring, when the season is new and (at least some) catalogs and nurseries are full of a beguiling variety of native plants and seeds. By the time the first hard frosts begin to knock back the garden, we're usually ready to put our tools away … [Read More...]
My husband and I visited Chicago's Millennium Park last month and were in full tourist mode taking photos of the reflective bean sculpture, the interesting fountain that spits water at you, the big heads and other famous attractions there. What a pleasant surprise to find Lurie Garden in the center … [Read More...]
Another one of my favorite birds is the brilliant orange and black Baltimore Oriole Icterus glacial. I have large volumes of admiration for this member of the blackbird family and love hearing the male’s crisp flute-like songs. The songs are a sequence of two varying notes repeated up to seven times … [Read More...]
Birds and Other Wildlife
Of all the many birds I have known here at Flower Hill Farm it is the Eastern Bluebirds Sialia sialis, who have connected and communicated with me the most. I love their sweet murmurs and seeing their beautiful cerulean wings and upper bodies. Their warm brown-orange breast and white underbelly … [Read More...]
It had been a long day; to tell you the truth I don’t remember why, but I’ve been juggling far more things this year than ever before in my life. Sunsets and sunrises seem to be about an hour apart in my world, and I know that if I’m to get to the place where I want to be, this kind of life is … [Read More...]
Native plants are tough and will thrive with little care - right? We've all heard that. Low maintenance! Use native plants! That’s what we often hear but getting native plants to thrive in your wildlife garden may take some care. In the heat of midsummer many native plant gardeners are … [Read More...]