In a world where we are so often focused on problems, what a pleasure it is to discover solutions, especially solutions provided by native plants. This spot, once a source of many problems, is now an ecologically functional wetland providing habitat for plants and wildlife, and a learning laboratory for students of a Title One elementary school in Arlington, Virginia. In a testament to the power of perseverance, the combined efforts of many individuals and agencies lead to a serendipitous … [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.
We often base our model on how bees nest, forage, and communicate on the honey bee. Honey bees nest in large, social colonies whereas most native bees have solitary nests, and the majority of native bees nest in the ground. Now before you start thinking about a past encounter that involved being … [Read More...]
Time to gear up! Drum up new business! Connect with existing clients and contractors! Fun...yes. Exhausting...yes. As many of you in the industry probably know, staffing a booth at a show is mentally and physically exhausting. Behind perceived vibrant faces trying to engage you in a … [Read More...]
It’s that time of year! Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day 2015, so I thought I would share the annual lovefest in my garden. I attribute my many reproducing critters to having the host plants they need to survive. They are the native plants that grace my wildlife garden. A different kind of love … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
Have you had your heart broken in the garden? I’m not talking about human love – not teddy-bear-chocolates Valentine’s Day love that's momentary and overly sweet. No, I’m talking total and complete breaking open to a moment or experience. Maybe you had it in a woodland or prairie, or on the ocean or … [Read More...]
What to do when an introduced species, be it a plant or insect, gets so out of control that eradication seems impossible? This is a serious consideration. We see it happens again and again. Many species are so entrenched that all efforts seem futile, from the most ecologically benign, such as … [Read More...]
Stop with the honey bee talk. Every day I come across a half dozen new articles on the plight of the European honey bee -- it's become sheer agony for me. Frankly, even though neonics and glyphosate and modern farming techniques play a key role in honey bee loss (among many other life forms), I … [Read More...]
American Robins Turdus migratorius, run along the ground like sentinels wearing gray and warm orange-brown breasted coats. When I look out in the fall and early spring after the snow has melted, I imagine the ground is moving for the numbers of robins stalking and stopping to stare at the earth in … [Read More...]
Wildlife needs are pretty basic: food, cover, and water. Posts at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens often address FOOD in the way of native nectar plants and native berry-producing plants. I’ve had fun addressing COVER: how you can help birds and other wildlife avoid becoming a predator’s next … [Read More...]
As a native landscaper, clients hire me to control invasive species, which often requires the use of pesticides. Since my business falls under the “for hire” category, Wisconsin law requires that I'm certified every five years and that I pay a yearly licensing fee. Even if I don’t apply pesticides … [Read More...]
Birds and Other Wildlife
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...]
Sometimes you know there are critters in your garden, but you don’t necessarily get to see their flying, furry or feathery self. How can you tell? Well, they leave signs. Signs can be something as simple as a sound. Many birds are secretive and some, like owls are nocturnal and not everyone … [Read More...]
Cedar Waxwings Bombycilla cedrorum and Bohemian Waxwings Bombycilla garrulus are skittish birds and feel more comfortable in a flock of their kind. The social waxwings do not defend a territory. They do not have a song as such. Their wispy trebles of "zeee," "zeeet" as they call while flying from … [Read More...]