At this point in the season, the basics of the landscape should be off to a good start for the summer season, and gardeners may be looking for some alternative projects, maybe even to attract some friendly wildlife to the backyard. Whether its luring butterflies, hummingbirds, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, bats or other animals, local garden shops can help create the perfect wildlife-friendly environment.
Flowering plants are a great way to attract both hummingbirds and butterflies. Drawn to the bright colors and the nectar of the flowers, these beautifully colored animals will return again and again throughout the summer with the right assortment of plants. A combination of any of the plants below will help fill the garden with wildlife all summer long.
The following plants not only have beautiful flowers, but the buds are irresistible to butterflies:
These plants and herbs will pull double duty and will attract both butterflies and hummingbirds alike:
- Flowering Oregano
- Butterfly Bush
- Butterfly Garden
To attract hummingbirds, the plants listed below are a sure fire way to draw them to the garden:
For the Birds (Hummingbirds) and Butterflies
In addition to planting the above plants, there are many garden enhancers that can be added to the backyard to create a comfy and welcome habitat for both birds and butterflies. Consider adding a hummingbird feeder. There are many to choose from that include feeders that will mount to windows or that can nestle into a hanging plant. The feeders should be filled with a sweet nectar, but be aware that it will need to be changed every few days to keep it fresh and keep the hummingbirds returning. One caveat for the feeders, however, is to keep a lookout for ants. They are huge fans of the nectar, and in hours, can swarm the feeder. Butterfly cages are also a great addition. These cages are the butterfly equivalent to a luxury condo. They’ll settle in, and even lay their eggs.
Additionally, adding birdbaths or other water features make the backyard an extremely inviting location for birds of all types.
Don’t limit the imagination to hummingbirds and butterflies. Traditional bird feeders are a great way to attract local birds as well. Birdfeeders also come in all sizes and shapes and can be filled with a variety of different seeds specified to help attract particular birds. Use the variety and expertise of the local garden shop and their employees to identify seeds and feeders to meet individual interests. For those not fond of serving up dinner for squirrels, there are even bird feeders that are highly squirrel resistant or corn-cob feeders that will nourish those furry-tailed creatures.
While bats are not typically a preferred animal to lure into landscapes and don't dazzle gardeners with beautiful colors or melodious song, they do offer benefits to the garden. Bats can eat their weight in mosquitoes, making the backyard a much more comfortable place to lounge. Bats can be lured with bat houses and once installed, require little upkeep and maintenance.
Wildlife can be a beautiful and often magical enhancement to a garden. They can also bring many vegetation and comfort advantages to the plants and admirers. Take the weekend to lure nature into the landscape and they will prove their benefits in months of spectacular viewing.
Information for this article was contributed by Lexington's Wilson Farm.