Habitat vs Conventional Landscaping

Posted by Nancy Payne 11/12/2015 0 Comment(s)


Habitat vs Conventional Landscapes


Habitat-landscaping focuses on attracting natural visitors such as colorful birds and beautiful butterflies to the landscape where you can enjoy the wonder of Nature! By using native plants and adding water features you will encourage birds and butterflies to visit your garden and stay a while, enabling you to enjoy their beauty.  At the same time, you will also create the habitat they desperately need to survive.  They depend on native plants and insects for their food, and need water to survive.  Your garden can be their favorite supermarket!



According to National Audubon Society, the 20 birds on the Common Birds in Decline list have lost at least half of their populations in just four decades due to residential and industrial development.  A wildlife friendly habitat garden replaces the perfectly manicured lawn with native plants that attract local and migratory birds, butterflies, and other wildlife seeking food and cover. Habitat landscaping essentially replicates pre-development land conditions.  With so much urbanization, wildlife now depends on your garden for food and water. Imagine if everyone had a habitat garden and together we made a quilt of gardens that covered our whole city with beautiful songbirds and butterflies!



To attract birds to your habitat garden or landscape, use native trees, plants and shrubs to provide food, nesting and shelter areas. If chosen correctly, native plants and shrubs will also add year-round color to your landscape and will require less watering.  My favorite trees and shrubs for birds are ones that produce berries, such as Savannah Holly and Pyracantha for sunny locations, and American Beautyberry for shady locations. Look for a bird bath to add water, a must for birds, and a bird house for added protection and security.  Adding a supplemental food source such as a bird feeder will attract even more birds and will keep them coming back, especially in the colder months when natural food sources are lower.  You’ll also need to eliminate the use of pesticides and chemicals and use an organic approach in your yard - an easy way to save money.  By doing so, you’ll provide a healthy and nutricious garden for wildlife where you can enjoy songbirds and hummingbirds all year long. 


Adding host plants and nectar-rich plants in your landscape will attract butterflies. My favorite host plants are Passion Vine and Milkweed, and my favorite nectar plants are Lantana Miss Huff and Gregg's Mist Flower.  If you plant these, you will surely attract butterflies.  My favorite nectar plants for the hummingbirds are Salvia Greggii, Flame Acanthus and Turks Cap. You will get hummingbirds visiting you every day during their migration.


Then, sit back and enjoy the wonder of Nature.


Happy Gardening,


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