NPWG Header 320x120Welcome 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.

1 a BWG Meet
1 a BWG Read
1 a BWG Learn
1 a BWG Gather

Don’t Miss the Wren Song Community

Wren Winter Singing crop

Free Exclusive Content and Member's Forum

Sign up for a free membership in the Wren Song Community and you'll have access to a lot more valuable information published exclusively for our members.

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.

Learn more about the Wren Song Community

Featured Post

Vine Maple leaf

Scarlet Whirligigs

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 maple (Acer circinatum). … [Read More...]

Native Plants

Thick stolons of the germander plant.

Native Mini Garden Gets Edits

It's a fact. Plants want to grow up, become mature, and raise a family; and that's exactly what they do unless we make it impossible for them. Which can definitely happen. However, in this mini garden, things did grow. They really grew. And, true confessions; things  didn't turn out the way I … [Read More...]

Paintedleaf (Poinsettia cyathophora;  synonym: Euphorbia cyathophora)

Christmas in July: Wild Poinsettia

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...]

Blue Columbine

5 Ways to Keep Your Wildlife Garden in Bloom

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...]

More Posts from this Category

Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects

56150407w

Bumble Bee Impersonators

I have talked about bumble bees on these pages several times. The subject is worthy of more than one post so I am adding one more. In previous posts I covered the bumble bee's life cycle, their intelligence, their value in the garden and their enemies. Now I want to discuss the imitators of bumble … [Read More...]

Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) along Monarch Spur Trail.

How Plants Work: Showy Milkweed

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...]

Amonsia hubrichtii -- a feast for queens.

The Art of Selfless Garden Design

I think there’s a myth out there that good garden design for humans can not also be good garden design for other species (and other humans, in the case of filtering groundwater, cleaning the air, etc). It’s not an either or proposition. Speaking in generalizations, many (not all) garden … [Read More...]

More Posts from this Category

Wildlife Gardens

Gdn Cleanup-Part Two(001) w-sig

Spring Cleanup in the Perennial Garden, Part TWO

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...]

More Posts from this Category

Birds and Other Wildlife

sm-sm-PR-II (008)

Front Porch Prothonotaries — Part TWO

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...]

sm-sm-w-sig-011

Front Porch Prothonotaries

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...]

While they may bite if you harrass them, they are more inclined to warn you off with a simple flick of the tongue

Slither Here, Slither There

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...]

More Posts from this Category

Most Recent

Vine Maple leaf

Scarlet Whirligigs

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...]

Thick stolons of the germander plant.

Native Mini Garden Gets Edits

It's a fact. Plants want to grow up, become mature, and raise a family; and that's exactly what they do unless we make it impossible for them. Which can definitely happen. However, in this mini garden, things did grow. They really grew. And, true confessions; things  didn't turn out the way I … [Read More...]

sm-sm-PR-II (008)

Front Porch Prothonotaries — Part TWO

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...]

Paintedleaf (Poinsettia cyathophora;  synonym: Euphorbia cyathophora)

Christmas in July: Wild Poinsettia

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...]

Blue Columbine

5 Ways to Keep Your Wildlife Garden in Bloom

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...]

56150407w

Bumble Bee Impersonators

I have talked about bumble bees on these pages several times. The subject is worthy of more than one post so I am adding one more. In previous posts I covered the bumble bee's life cycle, their intelligence, their value in the garden and their enemies. Now I want to discuss the imitators of bumble … [Read More...]

Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) along Monarch Spur Trail.

How Plants Work: Showy Milkweed

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...]

Skunk Cabbage foliage

Please Send Rain

It feels like mid-August in Bellingham, not the first of July. The sky has been a clear blue most of the last 30 days and temperatures have been in the 70s and 80s. The last time we got more than a few sprinkles of precipitation was a quarter-inch of rain on May 5 and a tenth of an inch on June 2. … [Read More...]

L1280581-imp

How To Start a Native Plant Garden

How do I start? Many people wrestle with this question after deciding they want to transform their yard into a native plant garden. When Susan and Jim Graham first made that decision, they described their existing yard as “ mostly turf grass with an azalea mustache;” a look typical of many … [Read More...]