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How To Encourage Wildlife Into Your Garden

Designing Your Garden To Attract Wildlife

Gardening is a wonderful way to enjoy and celebrate the beauty of the natural world, and wildlife gardening is a wonderful way to enhance that celebration by bringing a variety of birds and other wildlife into the serene oasis you have created.  Gardening with wildlife in mind is an increasingly popular part of the gardening hobby, and it is easier to do than you might imagine.
In fact, adding a few carefully chosen and well placed trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants to the landscape can make an enormous difference when it comes to attracting those colorful birds, beautiful butterflies and other forms of garden wildlife. 
It is, however, a good idea to plan that wildlife garden carefully.  Begin by mapping out the surroundings, taking note of any existing wildlife habitats in the area such as woodland, fields or areas of trees.  It is important to think of the wildlife garden not as an isolated environment but as part of the larger ecosystem. 
It is also important to take the needs of wildlife into account as you plan your garden.  Birds, for instance, will be looking for a steady supply of food and water, as well as sufficient shelter and nesting areas.  Giving the birds what they need will help keep them coming back, season after season and year after year.  
In order to attract different varieties of birds, it is important to give each species their favorite foods.  It is important to choose the right bird seeds for different species, but also the right kinds of trees.  Some varieties of trees, such as apple and cherry, are well known for attracting birds, as are such flowers as nasturtium, sunflowers and hollyhocks.  Native species of plants are also great for attracting native species of birds, and these native species are generally very hardy in the garden as well.  
In order to enjoy the beauty of birds year round, it is important to provide them with a steady supply of food through careful planting and gardening.  As the berries of summer begin to fade, it is important to ensure that there will be sufficient food for the autumn and winter season as well.  Winterberry and fruit producing shrubs are great for providing much needed nutrients to birds that winter in the area. 
It is also important to provide each species of bird with the proper environment in order for them to all thrive together.  Robins, of course, need to feed at ground level, where the insects and worms they eat are abundant.  Many other species, however, prefer to be off the ground, where they are less at risk from cats and other predators.  Still other birds prefer to perch in the higher branches of trees and shrubs, where they can be on the lookout for both food and predators.
Of course the right plants provide more than just food.  Trees, shrubs, bushes and other plants provide much needed shelter and nesting material as well.  Dense shrubbery and evergreens can provide much needed protection from the winter chill, while at the same time providing much needed shade when the weather is hot.  It is a good idea to plant the wildlife garden with these shelter needs in mind.
And of course all living things need plenty of fresh water, so the wildlife garden should include plenty of easy to reach sources of clean fresh water.  Incorporating a number of garden bird baths, both the stationary and hanging variety, into the garden landscape can provide those feathered and furred visitors with the water they need.  
It is important to continue providing that fresh clean water even after the weather has turned chilly.  In areas of the country where water tends to freeze at night, a simple and inexpensive solution is to install a small water heater in at least one of the bird baths.  Adding an attractive garden water feature that incorporates moving water, such as a fountain or a waterfall, can be a great way to provide winter water as well.
To see our selection of stone bird baths please click here and for further specific information on birds visit the RSPB website or the BBC.
A Garden Ornaments Direct Article
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