How to Welcome Wildlife Into Your Garden
Tips on how to invite wildlife like bees and butterflies into your garden.
In this episode of “The Instant Gardener,” Helen visits with the Arendale Wetland manager, Dave, on a waterway safari, to get inspiration for wildlife friendly ideas to try in your own home gardens. The idea is not to invite critters that will destroy your crops, but rather, ones that bring beauty and no harm, like local birds and insects.
Here are three tips from “The Instant Gardener” to invite local wildlife into your garden.
Tip #1: Leave Areas Wild to Provide a Home for Many Different Species
Dave is all about using brambles for wildlife. Brambles are rough, tangly, often prickly shrubs, and many produce berries that the native wildlife can enjoy as food. There are also spiders in brambles, and while you don’t want them inside your home, outside of it, spiders actually protect our plants from unwanted insects. Long grass or untouched log piles are also both welcoming to the local wildlife.
Tip #2: Use a Wide Range of Plants in Your Garden
If you have a wide range of plants that vary by season, you will provide year-round food and shelter for the animals who visit your garden. Here at DABL, we encourage turning your garden into a bird watching paradise by planting purple coneflowers in the summer and winterberry in the winter. Both flowers are native to North America. The purple coneflowers bloom from midsummer into fall. When the weather gets cold, plant winterberry, which holds up well in chilly temperatures and is easy to grow.
Tip #3: Attract Birds and Butterflies to Pollinate your Garden by Using Native Plants and Species
Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, and you can credit them for much of the food we eat. Bees keep the plant cycle going, and aid in growing many of the items in your garden. Their role in pollination is one we want to support, so encourage their presence in your garden using plants native to your area. Avoid plants with multi-petaled flowers because they often lack pollen. Check with your local nursery on what they recommend you add to your garden so that it is welcoming to bees and butterflies.