"Gardening for Wildlife" is a relatively new form of gardening. In the past, homeowners planted
just to beautify their landscape. Many also enjoyed feeding and watching birds at their feeders.
"Gardening for Wildlife" brings these two ideas together. It involves choosing plants that not only beautify a
landscape but also offer food or shelter characteristics needed by birds, butterflies and other backyard friends.
By planting and supplying their needed requirements you are creating a natural habitat that will attract more
and more wonderful friends to your yard year round, plus diversify the species that frequent your feeders.
The basics you'll need are: a handful of trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, vines or annuals that offer food year round
in your growing zone, ones that produce berries, nuts, or seeds. Your chosen plants should offer food in
succession, that is when one is finishing, other foods are becoming available.
Especially helpful are plants that hold food through the winter.
Next add plants that offer shelter: prickly, thorny or dense characteristics are especially helpful. They help nesting
parents and babies stay protected from predators.
In addition, evergreen trees and shrubs offer warmth on cold nights.
Next, add a water source. From a simple bird bath to an elaborate pond, all types are welcome.
You can add a heater, or change the water daily with water from your home to offer drinking water year round.
Finally, adding different types of feeders, and offering a selection of birdseed and treats will add an additional
bonus food source for your new "friends", helping them through the winter and encouraging them to check out and
stay year round in your wonderful wildlife garden.
These are just a few quick tips to help you on your way to creating your own wildlife garden. Combining them all
will surely bring a wider diversity of wildlife to your yard for your yearly viewing pleasure.
Hope this helps start you on your way to a wonderful new hobby!
Article provided by Mande's Garden Company
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