This week is National Wildflower Week, a good time to honor our local native plants, add some to our gardens, and work to help preserve them.
In addition, this whole month is Garden for Wildlife Month. And these two celebrations fit perfectly together, don’t you think? When we add more native plants and wildflowers to our gardens, we will attract more wildlife.
Of course, I believe that every month, every week, and every day is an ideal time to garden for wildlife, and is in no way limited to just one month!
Your garden can play a very important role in helping wildlife because all across the country habitat destruction is the leading cause of wildlife populations declines.
No matter how small or large your property, from a balcony in NYC to acres of land, you can create welcoming habitat for wildlife to share your space with you.
And the rewards will be immediate. Wildlife gardening is truly an “If You Build it, They Will Come” activity.
You can garden for wildlife by installing a wildlife pond, and have birds splashing around this week. Plus, you’ll have dragonflies, frogs, toads, and all manner of other wildlife at this source of water.
Plant some milkweed (Asclepias spp) for Monarchs, who need all the help they can get to support them on their long journey back and forth to Mexico.
Add host plants for butterflies to garden for wildlife. You’ve got to go beyond nectaring flowers and add the plants that each species needs for their caterpillars to feed on. For example, many Skippers lay their eggs on native grasses. Spicebush Swallowtails use Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Pipevine Swallowtails use Pipevine (Aristolochia tomentosa).
Garden for Wildlife by planting some bird food. Go beyond bird feeders and add lots of natural bird food to your garden. Add native sunflowers, and coneflower for seeds. Add lots of native berrying shrubs. Most of all, add native plants because these attract insects, and insects attract birds.
Visit your local native plant nursery, and join your local native plant society. These are wonderful places to learn more about the plants that will work best in your garden and provide the most value for wildlife.
How will you help wildlife in your garden for National Garden for Wildlife Month?
Here’s some great in-depth resources to help you create a beautiful welcoming habitat and garden for wildlife: