Thursday, May 2, 2013

This 'n That Thursdays: Gardening for Wildlife

From Queenofsienna's Kitchen Journal

May is one of those months when thoughts turn to gardening.  And since May is Garden for Wildlife Month, why not plan a garden that will benefit the local native fauna?  The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) provides guidelines on how to do just that, and they even offer a chance to have your property deemed a Certified Wildlife Habitat.  If your garden provides food, water, cover, and a place for wildlife to raise young, then all you have to do is fill out and submit the certification form along with a $20 fee (you can also download a copy of the registration form here to mail in).  Check out these examples of certified wildlife habitats -- it really is not that difficult to provide all of the necessities required to keep the local species happy and to qualify for certification:

In Virginia (from Washington Post)

In New Mexico (from abqARTS)

In Alabama (by Pandorea on Flickr)

In California (by stepping_up on HGTV)

Your garden needn't be very large.  Even the smallest of spaces can provide all the habitat needed for some species, such as butterflies:

From DIY Del Ray

We were lucky -- when we moved to our acreage in Georgia, the yard was already pretty much wildlife-friendly.  Quite a few mature oaks and a couple of old pecan trees, blackberries, mulberries, sumacs, and even sweet gums, plus a few brush piles provide food, shelter, and areas for wildlife to raise young.  Flowering shrubs and vines supply cover for birds as well as food sources for bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  I even plant dill every year just for the black swallowtail butterflies, who lay their eggs on the plants which then become the food source for the caterpillars.  And I have resigned myself to the fact that I must share the fruit of our fig tree with the birds and squirrels (there are always way too many for me anyway).  As long as I keep the birdbath filled with water we have more than adequate habitat for quite a few native species on our property, and we are rewarded every day as we watch the contented creatures go about their lives in our yard.  We have not yet certified our acreage as a wildlife habitat, but I have been thinking about it for a while, and this may be the year to finally get it done!

Our luxuriant butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for spreading the word on this important month! Beautiful photos!