Recently I shared my thoughts about how green roofs in the city can provide important habitat to endangered native plants with The Nature of Cities. While there are many other contributors on the TNOC website with wonderful articles, my thoughts are posted below (as well as within the TNOC site). And while some may brush aside green roofs as insignificant with respect to native plants, the majority of green roofs today are unfortunately being vegetated with exotic and sometimes invasive … [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.
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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 folks at Comedy Central contacted me earlier this year, and I'm pleased to say I'll be a correspondent for The Daily Show this fall as their native plant expert. As such, I find it necessary to end my time here at the most wonderful of places on the internet, where so many of us have shared … [Read More...]
Red is an eye-catching color in the garden, and it's also the main light wavelength that hummingbirds, those "jewels of the air" beloved by habitat gardeners respond to in searching for nectar. Feeding hummingbirds by planting native nectar-bearing wildflowers is much healthier than providing … [Read More...]
When Americans think of fall color, one of the first trees to come to mind is the maple, particularly our stately east-coast native sugar maple (Acer saccharum). But it’s still summer and I live on the west coast, yet we’re already enjoying some spectacular reds from the whirligig seeds of vine … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
Diurnal moths fly during the day rather than at night like the majority of moths. Some are quite pretty and are often mistaken for butterflies. One way to differentiate between the butterflies and moths is to look at the antenna. Moths have feathered antenna and butterflies have clubbed … [Read More...]
Next to the patio I have a patch of Paintedleaf a.k.a. Fire-On-The-Mountain a.k.a. Wild Poinsettia (Poinsettia cyathophora; synonym: Euphorbia cyathophora). This area gets morning sun and begins to move into the shadow of the carport in early afternoon. It is amazing the amount of activity that … [Read More...]
Keeping your wildlife garden blooming through the summer can be a challenge especially during periods of drought and high temperatures. The colors of the spring garden rapidly fade but there are ways to keep plants attractive and blooming all season long. First, your garden should include a variety … [Read More...]
Just writing the name House Wren Troglodytes aedon, stirs up angst within me. Dogged little creatures, these birds, like all native songbirds, are protected and it is illegal, according to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, to remove their completed nests of twigs, snake skins, spider casings, … [Read More...]
The male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinals) is the last but more easily recognized bird of the Cardinalidae family found here at Flower Hill Farm. My Bestiary continues with the namesake of this family. Cardinals, long after most birds have migrated, contently rest upon naked branches … [Read More...]
On my twice weekly runs on the Monarch Spur Trail, a former railroad bed turned popular walking/biking/running route that threads through my small town, I count monarchs on the patches of milkweed that have sprung up alongside the trail as part of our town's trailside habitat restoration … [Read More...]
Birds and Other Wildlife
In mid-June we proudly related the exciting story of Prothonotary Warblers nesting on our front porch. Now, in mid-July we are bursting as the “proud parents” of four successfully-fledged chicks! As we wrote in July, the parents were feeding the rapidly growing young every few minutes with all … [Read More...]
Just one of the many reasons why we garden for wildlife: Prothonotary Warblers breeding on our front porch! Imagine our excitement on May 17th when we heard the distinctive and emphatic song of a Prothonotary Warbler: “Sweet! Sweet! Sweet!” We each grabbed binoculars and headed out to see where … [Read More...]
The other day I was doing my daily lap around the pond (on foot, I didn’t swim it ;) ) when I nearly stepped on one of my slithering friends. A demure Peninsula Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus sackenii) was scouting through the littoral zone of the pond in search of something good to eat. This … [Read More...]