To get ready for church, the garden had to be dressed in its finest. Only native plants were fine enough, of course. The garden selected colorful natives, and ones with graceful forms and varied textures. Churches always want more visitors, so the garden carefully chose plants that would bring plenty of new attendants; butterflies and birds, fuzzy bees, and striped wasps. And last of all, the garden chose plants that would bloom over a long period of time, to please all the attendants, old and … [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.
A common request among many of my garden design clients is evergreen screening. Whether it's to keep the neighbor's from peering in or to keep my clients from seeing out to their neighbor's gardens, it seems many gardens just don't offer enough privacy. It can difficult when you're designing a … [Read More...]
Native Palm Trees for Southwest Wildlife Gardens Panache is defined as "an ornamental tuft (as of feathers) especially on a helmet." The second definition is "dash or flamboyance in style and action." These are the perfect definitions for palm trees! (The top of a palm looks sort of helmet-like.) … [Read More...]
As I was busy packing for my recent Colorado vacation, I checked the mail one last time. Since I was expecting a few payments from clients, I was happy to see a return address from a couple I recently completed a design for (a design I was mighty proud of given the budget constraints that I had to … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides that will kill the very pollinators you're trying to attract to your wildlife garden. A systemic pesticide is absorbed into all parts of the plant: leaves, flowers, pollen, and nectar which means that any caterpillar feeding on that plant, any butterfly … [Read More...]
Most people I talk to express an inordinate hatred for wasps. They agree that bees are important because they are pollinators, but think that wasps play no role in nature other than mistreat us with their stings. It is time that somebody comes to their defense. I will do more than … [Read More...]
This week, June 16-22, 2014 is National Pollinator Week. Pollinator Week was initiated and is managed by the Pollinator Partnership. From the Pollinator Partnership website: "Seven years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked … [Read More...]
The sleek and sparkling Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor), offers champagne bubbly gurgles and agile aerial flights that delight and lift my spirit like no other creature in my 'A Bestiary'. The gardens with the expanse of sky and landscapes are a backdrop for these songbirds who … [Read More...]
We share a natural pond with our next-door neighbors. It's not too large, about a tenth of an acre. It's out front between our house and the front meadow. To see the layout of this part of property see my post on the meadow, "From lawn to woods: a retrospective." We think it may be fed by a spring … [Read More...]
One very popular tree in our Southwestern landscapes is the mesquite tree. The native velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina) is a graceful tree offering refreshing shade in the landscape, a tree that is also used as a source of food, shelter, and medicine for all manner of desert … [Read More...]
Birds and Other Wildlife
I hadn’t realized how much I usually do in a day until we moved to town in fall, after the big flood that chased us out of our house. Six months of town life made me pack on pounds so fast I actually googled “rapid weight gain,” absolutely convinced that I must have some weird metabolic … [Read More...]
Several great posts have been written about the Eastern Box Turtle recently by Team Members Christina Kobland and Helen Yoest . I’d like to add a South Jersey perspective. Our half-acre property in rural Cape May County has attracted over eighteen different Eastern Box Turtles in the past five … [Read More...]
The Blue-headed Vireo,Vireo solitarius is a small, striking songbird wearing blue-gray feathers on his head and back while sporting swanky white spectacles. Two bold wing bars and thin washes of yellow along his flanks stretch down towards his tail. A white throat and undersides finish off the … [Read More...]