May is Garden for Wildlife Month

Although my plan is to garden with wildlife in mind all year round, I was excited to find out that May is officially designated as “Garden for Wildlife” month.  This means a wealth of tips, tricks, and fresh ideas for making my backyard more wildlife friendly are filling my inbox through places like the Xerces Society and the National Wildlife Federation.  Just in time for spring to fully feel like it is here to stay and my gardening gloves to get dusted off!  The National Wildlife Federation has a great checklist for helping to attract birds to your backyard, mostly focused on ways you can offer the 4 basics (food, water, shelter, and places to raise young).

My current list of wildlife-friendly projects includes:

  • installing a second multi-hook bird feeding station in my side yard
  • installing a native plant rain garden as part of my lawn regrading project
  • adding several hanging baskets full of hummingbird and pollinator attracting plants on my garage and other areas of the yard
  • planting several herbs in my garden that are specifically for the pollinators (in particular, borage)
  • making sure there are several areas of damp, bare ground in my yard to allow native bees to build nests

This year I’m trying to focus more on the pollinators (bees and butterflies) in my plantings, as I think that I’ve got the birds fairly comfortable with my current native beds and feeding stations.  Many people are starting to become aware (and concerned) about the drops in native bee populations.  I always seem to have a great variety and number of bees in my yard, so I’m trying to figure out how I can help make my yard even more appealing.  Although I know that several of my neighbors are annoyed by the Creeping Charlie and dandelions in my yard, I find that the bees seem to enjoy them.  Also, I’m not willing to use the herbicides that would be necessary to even try to get rid of these problem-children, so the neighbors will just have to suffer  🙂

Well, back to my dirt!

 

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