Create a Wildlife-Friendly Yard
Creating a wildlife-friendly yard can be a fun and rewarding activity—with just a bit of prep, every window in your home will provide an exciting opportunity to see nature in action, and you may even attract pollinators that actively improve the quality of your garden! The easiest place to start is with the three things every animal needs—food, water, and shelter.
Fill your garden with native flowers. Bees and butterflies thrive on the nectar and pollen that are local to them. When planning your garden, look for a wildflower seed mix specific to your region or contact your local horticultural society for a list of native plants. Native plants also help attract friendly visitors like hummingbirds. You can make your backyard extra alluring by hanging hummingbird feeders in your garden: Look for a red feeder and fill it with commercially available nectar.
Water, Water Everywhere
Your friendly neighborhood wildlife species need water just like the rest of us! Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds like to drink from birdbaths and sometimes even seek out water droplets left in your hose or irrigation system. You can do these hard workers a kindness by filling a shallow pan with sand and saturating it with water. This helps butterflies stay hydrated, while also providing necessary minerals they can leech out of the sand. Hummingbirds can drink in-flight, so try attaching a mister to your garden hose in the morning to help refresh those thirsty birds!
Home Is Where the Heart Is
Creating a safe place is also key to cultivating a thriving garden with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. You can install a bee box or a butterfly house—but wild bees and butterflies prefer to live in weedy shrubbery, abandoned animal burrows, or underground nests. Your best bet is to let a section of your yard go untended so that it can naturally develop the kind of shelter these insects need. Hummingbirds, on the other hand, like to build their nests high up in trees. Try growing plants with thorns to give them a safe place to perch and rest during the day while also offering protection from predators.
Tools of the Trade
Attracting wildlife doesn’t mean everything in your yard needs to be wild. Keep everything you need to maintain your yard organized and easy to find with a few simple tools: a deck box to keep your favorite supplies close at hand, a hose reel to keep your yard neat and tidy, and some stylish seating to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor!