Many of us enjoy nature and wildlife and would like to encourage wildlife visits to our yard and garden. If you are one of these people, you may want to consider constructing a garden that will attract the type of wildlife that you like to watch. These gardens are sometimes referred to as “Wildlife Gardens”. A wildlife garden is built with the intention of attracting birds, butterflies, or whatever else you may have coming near your yard and garden. If you are lucky enough to have space to create an natural wildlife garden, you may want to nestle a bench picnic table or a canvas gazebo somewhere in a hidden area. A gazebo is a great place to sit outdoors and take in all the beauty of nature.
To attract any type of wildlife, you will need to set up and provide a habitat with a wide range of food, shelter, and water source. All of these factors important since natural ecological systems are interconnected. By providing these essentials, you will attract different kinds of wildlife, and may, in turn, bring others.
Many gardeners, who set up wildlife gardens, try to use native plants, particularly trees, when planning on this type of garden ahead of time. Not many gardeners will have enough room to actually plan for trees also. It is perfectly possible to create a welcoming environment without having to go to great lengths.
The tricky factor is make sure that you know what is native to your area. Whether you consider a native garden or not, or just a mixture of local plants along with other plants that you purchase, choose those that will thrive in your area, while at the same time providing food or shelter for the animals you want to attract.
There are many different kinds of wildlife gardens. They range from desert and dry grasslands to wetland and even swamps. Your choice will depend on which part of the country you live and the type of weather that your location receives.
Is your choice going to be a woodland garden?
If you would like a woodland garden, take some time to assess the site that you are going to use for your woodland garden. You may already have existing plants that you can incorporate into your outdoor design. You should have a good balance of mature tall trees, young, lower-growing trees, and a range of shrubs and wildflowers at the lower levels. If you have underbrush and it is not unsightly, you may want to retain this as it gives the overall appearance of a natural woodland setting. Decide where you would like your paths to go, and surface them with crushed stone, bark, or any other rustic type of material that would help with your overall natural look that you are trying to obtain. Make sure that you add shrubs and other plants that will thrive in shady areas. Check out your local wooded areas if you are having trouble deciding what to put in.
After you have done all of this, you are ready to plant your ground level plants. Try to include wildflowers in drifts or clumps so that they appear to be growing naturally. Some woodland plants to consider are: woodruff, solomon’s seal, and wood anemone for spring time. Later, you may choose yellow archangel and ground ivy. Make sure that the plants have enough water during their first year of growth. You might consider mulching them for added moisture retention.
If you find that a particular plant is not doing well in one spot, try replanting it somewhere else in your landscape. I hope that your wildlife garden will be just what you hoped it would be. Try to include plants that bear fruits, berries, and seeds. Let some fallen debris and some leaves remain to make it look more natural. Don't be too eager to keep everything picture perfect, as it will lose its natural appearance.