Typically creepy crawlers are not invited guests into someone’s home. Most people never want to see them let alone invite them in for afternoon tea. Unfortunately, by having this attitude we have pushed out the local and native animals, taken over their home, and made them pack their bags to find new residence. Most of these animals do not make the commute and slowly dwindle off to extinction. A not so common fact is that the more wildlife in someone’s backyards the healthier it is. I am proposing a cohabitation with the native wildlife to not only increase their well-being, but the homeowners as well.
Now, how do we do this Annie? Well let me tell you a few simple steps that can promote a healthy ecosystem right in your backyard. An easy solution that is not only a fan favorite to homeowners but also birds alike, is planting flowers, particularly bright red/yellow ones. Flowers are nature’s built-in targets that draws birds down from the sky above. They will not only find their nutritional needs in these flowers but the birds will aid in pollination. To keep them coming homeowners need to supply a buffet full of berries, fruit, nectar, and water. By including plants with different bloom times you can see a constant flow of birds throughout the year. Some of our favorites that will achieve all of the above are Digitalis, Salvias, Cercis occidentalis, or Lavandula for nectar and Ligustrum, Rhamnus californica, or Berberis for seeds and berries. If this is not possible man-made elements like bird baths or bird feeders are easy to implement in any yard.
Humming bird drinking nectar from the California native Salvia spathacea plant.
I also highly suggest creating a healthy environment that attracts butterflies, they will bring beauty and movement in your yard, while pollinating plants. The unique attribute of these though is that the environment must be suited for both the caterpillar and butterfly life cycles. Like birds, messy dense areas will be prime areas for the butterfly larvae to cultivate, while bright flowering plants will encourage adult butterflies to stay. Some suggestions are, Achillea millefolium, Rosmarinus officinalis, and Iberus sempervirens.
A butterfly drinking nectar from our California native plant: Achillea millefolium.
Many other crawlers are great to attract into your landscape. Try including lady bugs to fight off unwanted bugs in the garden or worms to support a nutritious soil to help your landscape prosper. Refer to the link below to see a detailed list of plant species that are perfect to help wildlife thrive. Let’s invite wildlife to visit and stay awhile, the effects are outstanding to both the environment and humans alike.