Last night I attended an organized native plant landscape tour by the local Wild Ones chapter. The tour included three different public sites: a prairie maintained by local volunteers, a business and municipality. We often tour residences to see how individual homeowners are using native plants in their landscapes so this was especially interesting to see that public places can support native plantings if there is a willingness or desire to do so. The Friends of the Trail (three dedicated … [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.
I've been checking in daily with the ambush bugs that live in the yellow coneflowers that line my driveway, as they both fascinate and creep me out...kinda like watching reruns of The Twilight Zone. I can see why they inspired the creation of a comic book character that aspires to be both villain … [Read More...]
When shopping for native plants there are a few very important questions to ask your local nursery before buying anything. Are neonicotinoids used by grower of these native plants? Most wildlife gardeners are choosing plants that will support native pollinators: bees, butterflies, and other … [Read More...]
I remember the day distinctly. July 15 of this year -- also my birthday, also my parent's wedding anniversary. One of my dozen or so Liatris ligulistylis had opened its first bloom and I thought nothing of it. Summer was progressing at warp speed, more warpier with each passing year. In 2013 I … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
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...]
Wasps are a gardener's friends. They dispose of huge numbers of insects, most of them unwanted pests. Last time, I discussed the hornets and yellowjackets, the ones that you are inclined to mistrust because of their painful and sometimes apparently unprovoked stings. These are the … [Read More...]
I knew Rocky Mountain Beeplant (Cleome serrulata) from my years as a wild land botanist in the northern Rockies, but I had never thought to use this tall, pink-spired annual wildflower in the garden. Until Joe, the tidy homeless guy my late husband and I allowed to use an old railroad shed on our … [Read More...]
Trouble in paradise Last month I wrote about how much we have enjoyed our front pond in The joys of a Florida pond, but in 2011 the whole surface of the pond had become totally covered by a noxious invasive with a cute name—water spangles (Salvinia minima). It had probably come in as a hitchhiker … [Read More...]
Wildflowers can help save the world. But instead of telling the world how, we are hiding the truth. For any movement to succeed, there must be widespread grass roots support for the cause. Today much thought is centered around watershed, large contiguous and greenway ecology. This may be all … [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...]
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...]
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...]