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Landscape Guide For Attracting Wildlife

Inviting wildlife into your yard can create an urban oasis for birds, foxes, raccoons, and sometimes even deer. A yard landscaped for wildlife also provides sufficient food and cover for the friendly pollinators, such as bees and butterflies. The following guide will help you create a refuge for the neighborhood wildlife.

Water

Water is the single most important factor. A dry yard isn't inviting to animals, birds, or insects. There are several ways that you can add water to your landscape design:

  • Install a small decorative pond. Shady areas are a good option, because algae won't grow easily in the shade but pond plants will thrive. You will need a filter constantly running to keep the water clean and to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in the pond.

  • Add a fountain to the yard. These come in a large variety of sizes and styles, so you are sure to find something for your space. Mosquitoes also aren't a problem in most fountains since the water is constantly moving and circulating.

  • Place a few birdbaths around the yard. These will require emptying and refilling at least once daily to make sure the water is clean and to prevent mosquito eggs from hatching.

Food

Food is a major attractant to wildlife. When choosing food, determine what types of wildlife you want to attract. Plants that produce berries are a good option because they attract both birds and mammals. Seed producing flowers, such as coneflowers and sunflowers, are a very strong attractant for many birds. Fragrant flowers attract your insect pollinators.

Birdfeeders can provide a year-round food source. Nectar feeders are another option, which attract hummingbirds, bees, and butterflies.

Shelter

While food and water invite wildlife to visit, providing shelter provides an invitation to them to stay. Dense, low-growing foliage plants provide shelter to animals and birds that nest or feed on the ground. Medium and tall growing plants are also needed for those that nest higher or that need a safe place to retreat to, such as when the neighborhood cat is on the prowl.

You can also provide nesting boxes for birds and beneficial insects, such as mason bees. These serve a purpose and they are an attractive part of the landscape. Having a decorative piece of deadwood on the property, such as a stump or short piece of standing deadwood, will also provide nesting options for small wildlife, birds, and insects.

For more help, contact a landscape designer in your area.

About Me

New Landscape Makes a Yard Feel New Again

Hi. My name is Martha. My husband Leo and I are empty nesters. The last of our three kids moved out of the home about eight years ago. Since that time, we have talked a great deal about retirement and what we wanted to do with our house. The house is slightly too large for just the two of us, but we already have two grandchildren and from the way our kids talk, we are in for plenty more. We have decided to stay in our home since it has plenty of room for our family to come and stay with us from time to time. The one thing we really wanted to change is the backyard. Leo retired last year, and I’ll be retiring in about six months. We are already talking with the landscape contractor, and I’m excited to share some of our plans with you!

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