Small wildlife in the garden is not only beneficial to the plants that you are growing, but they also bring a certain beauty of their own and are interesting to watch. The more wildlife visiting a garden, the healthier it will tend to be. Instead of trying to deter garden guests, I do everything that I can to attract them to stop and enjoy my yard. All wildlife look for a few basic things that they need to survive, and its really those yards and gardens that can provide for their most basic needs, and not necessarily the most attractive garden, that they are going to congregate at.
Tips for Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden
If you want to welcome more beneficial wildlife to your garden, provide the following needs that all animals and insects have in the most natural way possible.
Provide A Source of Water
Water is always a great element to have in any garden. Gardens need water, water is found everywhere in nature and moving water, especially, adds to the sensory experience we have in gardens. It also happens that wildlife is also looking to provide for this very important need, especially in the winter, so wherever there is water you will see wildlife nearby. If you have the space and resources, a small garden pond is ideal.
Everything from birds to butterflies to frogs will sit, sip and splash in fresh water. Even a simple birdbath, or garden saucers will be very helpful to wild creatures. Scatter them around the yard, and make sure to fill regularly.
Your garden is a source of food for so many different types of wildlife, and the more native plants that you plant, the better (for a vast amount of reasons). It makes sense that birds and insects will seek out those plants that they find in nature, so by adding some of those same plants to your yard you are bringing wildlife right to you.
To attract the most wildlife, plant a wide diversity of plants including flowers with nectar, fruit bearing plants and plants that produce seeds or nuts. I grow strawberries in my yard, and the birds and wild creatures often get at them before I do, but I don't mind sharing.
In the winter, fill bird feeders with seeds geared toward your regular visitors, as well as other locals you would like to attract (you may be surprised who shows up).
Shelter is another very important need for all types of wildlife, and slightly more complicated to provide in the most natural way, but still possible. Birdhouses, or other hollow containers, make sure that birds are always returning to your garden. Keep overturned logs, some garden brush and stacks of logs are also places wildlife like to take shelter near so try and fit these things into the garden as naturally as possible.
Provide Natural Cover
Ever notice how most types of wildlife will dart back and forth into your garden? Animals and insects are always watching for predators, even while they are splashing around in the birdbath you have put out. In keeping with planting a diverse garden, it is also important to include trees and shrubs in and around your garden. Both of these provide coverage and security for animals that need a place to quickly escape into, and the more you have around the more wildlife will feel secure and safe near your yard.
Providing each of these is the best and easiest way to encourage beneficial wildlife to not just make their way into your yard, but to stay. None are difficult to provide, and the best part is, they don’t require a lot of time or money to add to your yard.