Attracting wildlife to your garden

Make your garden a refuge for wildlife.

Is it hard to attract wildlife -- such as an owl, a wild-turkey couple, and a raptor -- to your garden, as Ellen Zunon writes about in Going Native in the Backyard? Not at all. But it doesn't just happen.

The first step in making your yard wildlife-friendly is stopping by the National Wildlife Federation's Backyard Wildlife Habitat site. It explains that a landscape that's welcoming for small animals isn't just good for the environment -- although that's a big advantage -- but it can be attractive in a suburban neighborhood, too.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has an excellent step-by-step paperback about all aspects of gardening for wildlife, "The Wildlife Gardener's Guide," which is good because many of us want to attract birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds, as well as a variety of small wildlife.

The cornerstones of designing a landscape for wildlife are simple: providing food, water, shelter, and -- sometimes -- breeding places.

 Native plants can make the job easier, but it isn't necessary to tear out your current landscape and replant -- just add some plants native to your region each year if you can.

Probably the least-expensive -- and most environmentally friendly -- step you can take to make your yard more attractive to wild creatures is to go organic. (And watch out for organic pesticides, too -- some can be toxic to bees.)

Making a yard more friendly to wildlife also makes it more enjoyable for people. What a joy to look out your kitchen window and spy a hawk, as Ms. Zunon has, or to annually welcome a turkey couple waddling around the neighborhood. And it doesn't take a great deal of space or time.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Attracting wildlife to your garden
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today