10 Tips to Turn Your Garden Into a Wildlife Sanctuary

10 Tips to Turn Your Garden Into a Wildlife Sanctuary

There are two main reasons for creating a wildlife sanctuary in our gardens. The first is purely selfish in that by taking steps to attract birds and butterflies we can then enjoy their presence in the garden. The other reason is our efforts can make a small contribution in offsetting the loss of habitat elsewhere in the neighborhood. These ten tips come from an article by Doug Tallamy which I found on the Garden Design Magazine website.

With natural areas diminishing, we must raise the bar of what we ask of our landscapes. We can no longer be satisfied with gorgeous gardens that are not also designed to support ecosystems.
Here are ten easy ways to fill your garden with biodiversity and beauty:
1. Plant an oakThere are native oaks for just about every state in the U.S. These trees form the hub of a native garden, providing habitat and food. In most counties, oaks support more than 450 species of moths and butterflies. Moths and their caterpillars are important food for birds.

Bird Bath, Bird, Bath Shutterstock.com New York, NY

Photo by: Gerald A DeBoer / Shutterstock.com.

2. Add a bird bath Keep it shallow! Birds will not use a bath where the water is deeper than their legs. A bath 1 inch deep by 15 inches diameter will attract avian friends. If you have access to a large stone, you can carve a shallow bird bath into it for a natural look.
3. Create a layered planting or border If you have the space (it can even be as small as 10 by 10 feet), build a multilayer planting: Add a row of canopy trees (maples, hollyleaf cherry); weave in medium-sized trees and tall shrubs (willows, toyon); tuck in shrubs (sweet pepperbush, manzanita); fill in with herbaceous plants (native grasses, salvias); carpet with groundcovers (spring ephemerals, checkerbloom).

See more at Garden Design Magazine
Feature photo: Bachkova Natalia / Shutterstock.com.