Landscaping a Small Yard For Wildlife

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Trying to attack the whole project at once is a sure way to become discouraged and make expensive mistakes. Take some time to study your property, think about what wildlife you want to attract, and what personal interests you want to nurture.


<ul><li> 1. T rying to attack the whole project at once is a sure way to become discouraged andLandscaping a Smallmake expensive mistakes. Take some time to study your property, think about what Yard For Wildlife wildlife you want to attract, and what personal interests you want to nurture. For more nature habitat informationFind out where your property Visit these helpful websites: lies on the USDA Hardiness Zone maps printed in mostA Plants Home plant catalogues, or availableA Birds HomeA Homesteaders Home through your county Cooperative Extension Service office. What kind of soil do you have, how much sun reaches your yard, what amount of rain falls in your area, and what structures are alreaady in place. Native Is Best A word about native" plants. Wildlife evolved with plants through the centuries, so a lot of native vegetation is uniquely suited to meet the needs of specific wildlife. In addition, native plants tend to thrive in their natural habitat, be less prone to disease, and less in need of chemical treatments. WindStar Wildlife Institute emphasizes the merits of native plants, but we realize that there are sometimes other considerations. Although nurseries are beginning to carry more native plants, they can be hard to locate for purchase.Perhaps youve purchased a home which enjoysonly a traditional mowed lawn and clippedThose that flower may not be as flashy" as some of theevergreens. It looks nice enough, but youre developed cultivars. They mayinterested in gardening, feeding the birds, andnot bloom for as long a time, or making your yard a welcome spot for a variety ofmay have an unstructured growth habit. Some exotics" wildlife. Where do you start. (plants which originated in other parts of the world) areWindStar Wildlife Institute Page 1 A Plants Home</li></ul> <p> 2. bound to appeal to you, and color, or the consistency of Spruce is a Favoritemany will also appeal to wildlife.evergreens.Birds and small mammals love the spruce for food, nesting,For example, birds love the In our 1/4-acre plan, theand winter shelter, especially ifberries of Japanese holly, andlower right corner shows a the branches are allowed tobutterflies cant resist thewindbreak of Colorado blue grow to the ground. Ifnectar of the Oriental butterflyspruce. Used properly, anpositioned correctly (usually tobush. Just be careful not toevergreen windbreak can fulfillthe north), they will indeedintroduce exotic plants which many functions. It will screen break the path of the wind andare invasive and have a off an undesirable view and/or keep your home warmer intendency to crowd out the give you privacy throughoutwinter. For visual interest, itsnatives.the year.especially nice to combine1/4 Acre Plan This brochure contains a1/4 Acre Habitat Designwildlife-friendly, landscapedesign for a 1/4-acre yard. It willgive you a starting point, butyou are encouraged to adapt itto your own vision. As we gothrough the various elements ofthe plan, well point out whyeach is important, and consideralternatives that can fill thesame purpose. We have chosenprimarily native plants. A trip toyour local library or plantnursery will provide many moresuggestions.When you are ready to chooseyour plants, its often best tostart with trees. Their cost willvary according to their size atthe time of purchase. Oncetheyre in place, you dont wantto have to move them, so thinkcarefully before getting out theshovel. Is the tree appropriate for thesoil conditions and amount ofsunlight. Have you planned forits mature size. Will it crowdyour house or other trees, oreventually shade that spotwhere you had hoped to put aflower garden. Is it evergreen ordeciduous (losing its leaves inthe fall), and how will thataffect whatever is nearby. Areyou interested in flowers, fallWindStar Wildlife Institute Page 2 A Plants Home 3. evergreens of various heights,Crab Apple Best For Wildlife berries. The maple producescolors, and textures. Dont limit Most native trees, such as seeds that are eaten by severalyourself to pines and other the crab apple at the top of the species, and turns strikingconifers. There are a number of yard, bear fruit that is morecolors in the fall. Since both arebroadleaf evergreens that are suitable for wildlife than for deciduous, they will shade theworth including in your plan. human consumption. The willowhouse in the heat of theoak, also in the upper section, is summer, but not block the Along the lower left side of an oak, not a willow. Many warming sun in the winter. Oncethe drawing are three peach species of wildlife enjoy nutagain, think about the maturetrees. Fruit trees benefit both trees, and acorns are a specialsize and whether or not anypeople and wildlife, and you canfavorite. Be sure to considertree will block a favorite viewchoose from a wide range of the mature size of any nut tree, from the house.heights and types of fruit. Alsoand be careful about plantingconsider the color of the black walnuts because they The flower gardens dont haveflowers, whether or not the fruit release a substance that isspecific plants indicated, butwill be eaten or just decorative, toxic to many other plants.there are many selections thatthe need for chemicalwill appeal to both butterfliestreatments, the length of timeThe sugar maple and dogwoodand hummingbirds. Choose ait will take to bear fruit, and in the central part of the yardcolor scheme that appeals towhether it needs another of the are both versatile. The dogwoodyou and group plants to createsame species nearby to ensure has lovely spring blossoms, andblocks of color.fertilization.birds will feast on its autumn Some suggestions for this area include: s Lantana (Lantana camara) Recommended Deciduous Trees and Shrubs s Pentas (Pentas lanciolata) s CosmosName Scientific Name Height Benefits For Wildlife(Cosmos sulphureus)American HollyIlex opaca 40 Red berries; slow growing Joe-Pye weed s (Eupatorium spp.)BayberryMyrica pensylvanica8-10 Berries (male and female) s Purple coneflowerCreeping Holly Grape Mahonia repens2-3Berries (Echinacea purpurea)Eastern Hemlock Tsuga canadensis 40-70s New England aster (Aster spp.)Eastern Red CedarJuniperus virginiana30-50Blue berries s Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia spp.)Eastern White PinePinus strobus80 Seeds, sap, cover; fast growing s Butterfly weedJuniperJuniperusShort Many varieties (Asclepias tuberosa)Mountain Laurel Kalmia latifolia 7-15Nectar s Butterfly bush (Buddleia)Oregon GrapeMahonia aquifolium 6-8Blue berriess Buttonbush (Dephalanthus occidentalis)Wax MyrtleMyrica cerifera5-20Berries (male and female) s Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)WindStar Wildlife InstitutePage 3 A Plants Home 4. s Bee balm (Monarda didyma) of lawn near the house, but it for all wildlife. You may not have offers little for wildlife, requires room for a pond, but a birdbath s Scarlet Sageeffort and money to maintain,or fountain will see lots of (Salvia coccinea) wastes water, and encourages activity. It should be kept clean the use of polluting chemicals.and be placed within 5 of a treeThere are many kinds of or shrub to allow escape fromshrubs illustrated throughoutLess lawn is better for both predators.the yard, and variety is one ofyou and the environment. For athe most important low-growing alternative to Benches and paths throughconsiderations whengrass, consider the many kinds the garden let you wander andlandscaping for wildlife.of ground covers available, such rest to enjoy your creation. as cotoneaster and creepingBy offering a wide selection junipers. If you have corners The WindStar Wildlifeof flowers, fruits, and heightsthat can be left taller, manyInstitute publication, How Toof plants, you will appeal tonative grasses provide shelter Create A Wildlife Habitat Planthe greatest number of and seeds for birds. For Your Property offers adifferent species.step-by-step guide. Some other Man-made structures cantitles in this series which mightFruiting shrubs near the add decorative accents to thebe of help to you include:windbreak include inkberry (Ilex garden and at the same timeglabra), bayberry (Myricacontribute to your wildlifes Butterfly Gardening;pensylvanica), rugosa rose habitat. In this design, trellises,(Rosa rugosa), and blueberrys Landscaping for Birds; arbors, and lattice screens(Vaccinium corymbosum). All of support vines which bear Essential Elements of asthese are native and favorites flowers for nectar, berries forWildlife Habitat;of birds and other small wildlife. birds, or provide nesting sites.s Homes for Backyard Birds;Some are duplicated in theBittersweet (Celastrusupper planting areas, along with orbiculata, an exotic that may s Creating a Wildflowershrubs planted for their nectar, become invasive), climbing rose, Meadow; andincluding spicebush (Lindera clematis (native version isbenzoin) and sweet pepperbushligusticifolia), and trumpet s Creating a Wildlife Habitat(Clethra alnifolia). The creeper (Bignonia capreolata)Plan.spicebush has berries for birds, are shown in the plan. Otherand the white flowers of the choices include Virginia creeperThis article was written bysweet pepperbush will attract(Parthenocissus quinquefolia),Maryland Master Wildlife Habitatbutterflies. The red twigyellow jasmine (Gelsemium Naturalist Cathy Gilleland.dogwood (Cornus siberica), while sempervirens), coral For more information or for thenot native, provides wonderful honeysuckle (Lonicera name of a Master Wildlife Habitatred color in winter and birdssempervirens), and grapes. Naturalist in your area, pleaseenjoy its autumn Nesting boxes placed around WindStar Wildlife Institute the property will encourageGroup Plantingsbirds to raise families in yourE-mail: wildlife@windstar.orgTo Increase Appeal habitat. Additions like a dust In most cases, groupings of and grit area for birds or a mudtrees and plants will be morepuddle for butterflies may notpleasing to the eye and more sound charming to humans, butWindStar Wildlife Institute is aappealing to wildlife than the wildlife will come in evennational, non-profit, conservationindividual specimens standinggreater numbers.organization whose mission is toalone in a sea of lawn. Mowed help individuals and familiesgrass is nice for people, and you establish or improve the wildlife Feeders are an obvious habitat on their properties.may want to maintain an area addition, and water is essentialWindStar Wildlife InstitutePage 4A Plants Home</p>