Everyone is looking for groundcovers these days, and if we let go of the idea that a groundcover has to be short and have blades, a whole new world is opened up. Packera aurea is a plant with an awful name but a lot to offer to those looking for a good way to cover space with something beside grass. Packera’s most common common name is ragwort, which makes it sound like something sneezy and tattered. However, it's neither. It’s a robust and cheerful plant sending out a profusion … [Read More...]
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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.
The monarch season is coming, and gardeners throughout the country are getting ready to welcome them with milkweeds lovingly cultivated in their gardens. They also brace themselves to battle whatever ills may affect the caterpillars. Milkweed bugs and milkweed beetles are seen with hostility. The … [Read More...]
In honor of National Wildflower Week (May 4-10, 2015), here are ten of my favorite native wildflowers for habitat gardens in the inland West. Why use wildflowers in landscaping? The LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center makes the case succinctly: Wildflowers and native plants help conserve … [Read More...]
Sometimes we have large swaths of ground that we’d like to cover. In the Pacific Northwest there are several plants that can fill that niche, but today I’ll highlight just one that’s beginning to come into bloom. May Lily, aka False Lily of the Valley, Maianthemum dilatatum, thrives in moist, … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
It’s colorful. It spreads slowly. It’s fragrance is amazing. It fixes nitrogen in the soil. It attracts pollinators. It is the larval host for several species of moths. One of our most commonly found native wildflowers, Lupine is undoubtedly one of our most beautiful. I am continually delighted … [Read More...]
More gardeners are learning about pollinators and creating habitat for them. It warms my heart when I see them selecting plants beneficial to pollinators, converting portions of the lawn into flower plots, cutting down on pesticides, and creating the right conditions for pollinators’ nests. Many … [Read More...]
Someone asked me recently about creating a butterfly garden and what plants they should include. This person was looking for a list of larval host plants (caterpillar food) so they could include these plants in their garden plans along with nectar plants. This is the right approach when designing a … [Read More...]
Several years ago I wrote Part ONE of this post, “Spring Cleanup, Don’t Overdo It.” Part ONE addressed the first sweep through the garden, breaking the previous growing season’s dead perennial stalks, gathering them up, and laying them loosely somewhere safe, where the coming year’s butterflies and … [Read More...]
Rose-breasted Grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus) is a stoutly built songbird of the Cardinalidae family. The male's beauty of black, white, and red is surprising especially below the black throat where red escapes a bib and trickles down the center of his breast like paint flowing free from form on … [Read More...]
Last month my post showed the power of love in my native plant and wildlife garden with photos of an array of mating critters. This month it seems the seeds have been planted, so to speak, and the eggs are arriving. Most obvious would be the bluebirds, that have had several broods each … [Read More...]
Birds and Other Wildlife
Thirty-nine months later and the birds keep flying into my A Bestiary — Tales from a Wildlife Garden. Return migrations are underway and this author is longing to see and hear our returning resident birds when the mountains of snow have melted. When spring rescues all the inhabitants, indoors and in … [Read More...]
We are remaking the world in our own image. From carbon emissions to water use, to shifting climate zones and exotic plant choices, to habitat loss and oil extraction, not one square inch of this world is unaltered. It’s far easier psychologically to reframe this sad reality with hope – hope that … [Read More...]
On our sister site, Beautiful Wildlife Gardens, I discussed gardening for desert birds. On this site which is more about native plants, I an going to discuss a few of the plants you can consider for your bird garden. The plants can fall into two categories – plants for food, and plants for … [Read More...]