How to Draw Natural Wildlife Into Your Backyard Oasis

November 7, 2017 by

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Do you have a favorite garden spot in your backyard? If so, do you also have the beautiful birds, butterflies, and other natural wildlife that help create a great garden space?

To achieve your ideal garden oasis, it’s important to incorporate things that will attract useful species of wildlife and beneficial insects. In some cases, planting trees and flowers just isn’t enough. You need to focus on specific types of plants. Here are just a few examples of ways attracting more natural wildlife, animals, and beneficial insects into your backyard space.

Plant Re-Blooming Perennials and Flowering Trees
One of the best ways to create a gorgeous garden is to landscape it with perennials–plants that bloom year after year. If these plants also attract friendly wildlife, it’s a win-win. Some popular plant varieties that attract birds and welcome beneficial insects, include:

  • Foxglove
  • Ice Plant
  • Firethorn
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Thyme and Lavender
  • Sunflowers

Flowering shrubs like Butterfly Bush and a spring blooming Lilac are other items that attract hummingbirds, bees, and other colorful bird species. Consider planting wildflowers as well as herbs to these areas to attract dragonflies, butterflies, and small birds, while also spicing things up in kitchen with home-grown herbs. Keep in mind that many perennials and shrubs can take two to five years to reach full maturity. In the meantime, think about adding flowering annuals to fill in the spaces where the others have not yet bloomed.

Photo: Getty Images.

Create a Natural Pond or Pool
Creating a natural water feature in your backyard offers many benefits. The sound of water provides a sense of serenity and comfort. Add a pond to host a variety of fish and bog style plants. When installing a pond, consider the following algae-eating plants and fish to keep the pool or pond clean:

  • Waterlilies
  • Water hyacinth
  • Lotus
  • Ferns
  • Parrot feathers
  • Ludwegia

From there, you can attract specific types of birds and keep the fish thriving. Goldfish, koi, pond snails and bullfrog tadpoles are another great way to bring some life to the area. Adding a large sprinkler, waterfall and pump system can provide a soothing sound for creating relaxing and entertaining space. Don’t forget to set up a bird bath or bird table nearby for your fine feathered friends to perch on. Keep bird baths going year round with a small pump system to keep the water from getting stagnant.  

Place Birdhouses and Feeders
Many birdhouses are more than just decorative accents to the garden, they house specific species and contribute to increasing the bird population in your backyard. Feeders offer another way to feed and maintain a specific group of birds so they will repeatedly visit your oasis. Keep stocked up on their favorite foods and do some research as to what each type of bird likes to eat. Buy food in bulk if necessary and stock up for the long, winter months, storing it all in a cool, dry place. As a less expensive alternative to commercial products, feed the hungry birds flocking to your neck of the woods with homemade bird food like suet packs and peanut butter ornaments.

Create a Hedge and Mini-Wilderness Area
Now that you have attracted birds to your backyard, think about the animals that might bother or scare them off. Squirrels are a welcome addition to the backyard, but they can devour birdseed and destroy birdhouses. You’ll have the best of both worlds if you can strategically place birdhouses and bird seed in areas inaccessible to squirrels. One way to distract them is to use a natural hedge, tree line or a wilderness area. A driftwood garden accent, hollowed out trunk, woodpile, and an area of tall grass will attract small animals, including rabbits and squirrels, and will allow for more animal interaction in the back forty.

Bringing animals into the yard begins with placing plants and accents that will attract them. With a little careful planning, you can easily create an affordable area for natural wildlife, critters, and beneficial insects to frequent and call home.


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