Wildlife Friendly Gardens

It’s Canada Day today, and many Canadians will be spending time in their gardens.  And, of course, there are many summer days and evenings coming up that will be ideal to spend in a garden.  If you like to see wildlife around your garden, there are several websites you will enjoy reading.

Monarch butterflyThe National Wildlife Federation has a page on how to attract butterflies to your garden.  Apparently native flowering plants with red, yellow, orange, pink and purple blossoms are in demand by butterflies.   Most of the 700 or so species of butterfly found in North America like to feed in the sunlight, and need continuous bloom throughout the season.  Flat stones provide space for butterflies to rest which, just like many people, enjoy relaxing in sunlight.  Visit the Federation’s website for more information.  They have quite a good section on attracting wildlife to your garden.

Many migrating birds spend their summer in Canada.  Nature Canada’s website has 12 Ways to Make Your Backyard Bird-Friendly.  The same native plants that you use to attract butterflies will appeal to birds.  Provide a water source such as a bird bath, preferably on a pedestal in case you have a cat in your neighborhood.

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata bromia)How about planting a tree?  Apparently, trees are so good that hospital patients tend to recover from surgery more quickly when they can see trees from their hospital room, according to Seaworld and Busch Gardens.  Trees not only help our planet by producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, they also tend to make us feel peaceful.  They also provide a home for birds and other animals.  As Busch Gardens’ website suggests, “Dig a hole.  Plant a tree.  Repeat”.

Enjoy gardening.  Happy Canada Day!

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Alison Wheatley

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