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.

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Don't Miss! Wren Song, Our Weekly Newsletter

*Tips for planning your wildlife garden *How to choose the best native plants *How To projects for your wildlife garden *Recommended resources *Breaking news on upcoming projects *A summary of each article published by our team members each week

Featured Post

This garden, while mature, is basically a blank canvas. But wha's the best way to get tstrated creating a wildlife garden?

A Tale of 2 Future Wildlife Gardens ~ Getting Started

Part of the fun of being a landscape designer is that I get to design all sorts of gardens in so many different styles that I never get bored. Years ago, it was fairly uncommon to find someone who wanted a wildlife garden. A client who requested native plants because they understood their intrinsic value beyond simply their beauty as a rare gem. But that is slowly changing, in part due to the education provided by websites like this one and our sister site, Beautiful Wildlife Garden. So while … [Read More...]

Native Plants

harebell

Planning for Climate Change

I have been reevaluating my landscape for the last few years to determine where I could include more forage plants for pollinators. I have a very treed yard with one open, sunny area on a gravel slope. After hearing two more climate change presentations this winter at various conferences, I decided … [Read More...]

002-sig-Bloodroot

Perennials Emerging in our Woods

After the endless winter who isn’t eager for spring? Each day I stroll through the garden and woods looking for signs of spring, perennials peeking through the woodland leaf litter and garden soil. It all happens so quickly that I am afraid to be away even for a few days. I remember when, as a … [Read More...]

Pectis_papposa_var_papposa_6_SS

Grow Your Own DYC Birdseed

Over the past few months in my blogs, I have been discussing "DYC's" which are "Darned Yellow Compositae," or "Deliciously Yummy Compositae" depending on your viewpoint.   You may already entice seed-eating birds such as the lesser goldfinch into your garden with DYC seed you purchase … [Read More...]

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Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects

Sun2

The Garden Divorce, With Sunflower

Gardens do so much for us. They console us, welcome us, connect us. They bring us moments of peace and reflection. They humble. They teach. Unfortunately, we also idealize our gardens (see previous sentences), place them on a pedestal so magnificent they almost seem untouchable and impervious to … [Read More...]

5

The Ethics of Native Plant Gardening

How I view my garden shifted when plants matured and I noticed what was using them: what was gathering nectar and pollen, what was eating leaves, what was predating what. I had to unlearn decades of “perfect garden” mentality, research my new world, and be more selfless to be a better gardener. I’m … [Read More...]

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Wildlife Gardens

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Birds and Other Wildlife

Ribbit, a Pacific tree frog (just about center), hides from my after-dusk light show.  Tree Frog Pond, a half wine barrel pond, has juncus reed and algae to encourage Ribbit's mate to lay eggs in the pond.

Ribbit’s Time of Year

Amphibians throughout Planet Earth have not been doing very well recently.  Individuals and whole species are disappearing at a scary fast rate.  I will not go into alarming statistics -- let's just say that they are in big trouble.  Heeding their call for help ("ribbit, ribbit, ribbit...."), my … [Read More...]

A broad-tailed hummingbird rests on the stem of a wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus) on a wet fall morning.

Are We Really Helping?

  When we garden or landscape with the aim of restoring habitat for wildlife, are we really making a difference? There's precious little research quantifying the effects of our hard work, but new studies are encouraging. Earlier, I wrote about a study in Arizona which showed that yards … [Read More...]

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Most Recent

harebell

Planning for Climate Change

I have been reevaluating my landscape for the last few years to determine where I could include more forage plants for pollinators. I have a very treed yard with one open, sunny area on a gravel slope. After hearing two more climate change presentations this winter at various conferences, I decided … [Read More...]

002-sig-Bloodroot

Perennials Emerging in our Woods

After the endless winter who isn’t eager for spring? Each day I stroll through the garden and woods looking for signs of spring, perennials peeking through the woodland leaf litter and garden soil. It all happens so quickly that I am afraid to be away even for a few days. I remember when, as a … [Read More...]

Pectis_papposa_var_papposa_6_SS

Grow Your Own DYC Birdseed

Over the past few months in my blogs, I have been discussing "DYC's" which are "Darned Yellow Compositae," or "Deliciously Yummy Compositae" depending on your viewpoint.   You may already entice seed-eating birds such as the lesser goldfinch into your garden with DYC seed you purchase … [Read More...]

mindful-management-burn-shot

Mindful Management

Outfitted in yellow Nomex and armed with a rubber flapper, I wait for the drip torch to start a burn line along the base of last year’s bluestem stalks that still tower over a five-acre prairie. The winds are in our favor and the flames are out almost as quickly as they started, leaving a charred … [Read More...]

NP-pinebloomJune2012

Life Cycle of the Long-Leaf Pine Tree

I live in a Pine Flatwoods Ecosystem and have been allowing several Longleaf Pine (Pinus palustris) and Slash Pine (P. elliottii) trees to naturally restore on various spots of my property. The property had been clear-cut by prior owners, sans a few of these pines. Longleaf Pine is an evergreen, … [Read More...]

Skunk Cabbage, a welcome sign of spring

Walk in Wissahickon Woods

Nothing is as soothing or relaxing for me as taking a walk in the woods after a long and stressful week. This week I chose the Bells Mills Rd section of Wissahickon Park. Wissahickon Park, Bells Mills Section While there are lots of things to complain about in the city of Philadelphia, one thing … [Read More...]