Attracting bees, birds, butterflies and other wildlife to your garden is one of the best ways to have a healthy, vibrant, sustainable landscape. The key is to plant a plot that provides and supports wildlife habitat year round, especially for birds.
Let’s start with the plants. To make this super-simple, we’ve graphed out three plants for each of the four seasons that are ideal for supporting wildlife. Mix and match them for the look you want in your garden. As always, when it comes to perennials and shrubs, remember to plant in groups of three or more. (These are only a few of the many plants that are ideal for a wildlife habitat garden. Forage for more!)
Tips for Attracting (and keeping) Wildlife to Your Garden
Here are five key elements you’ll need to provide (none of this is complicated, we promise!):
- Evergreens and conifers that will feed and shelter wildlife, especially birds, year round.
- Something blooming for as many months as you can manage. Many pollinators, especially bees, forage during the entire growing season.
- Shelter for nesting or from bad weather. (Leave a hedge untrimmed and a section of lawn unmowed; pile grass cuttings in a sunny spot; provide some bare soil for ground nesting bees.)
- Limit your use of chemicals (both synthetic and organic) and use plenty of compost and mulch to build healthy soil. Healthy soils create healthy plants.
- Consistent source of clean, fresh water for drinking, bathing and breeding. And, speaking of water, butterflies love wet soil for sipping water and for the salts and mineral nutrients–a little dirty puddle is appreciated.