I’m not going to show you how pitiful my garden looks right now. We’re about two months into a drought and I’m doing the best I can. However, I’m very excited because I finally got my certification as a “Wildlife Habitat”. Our garden is now officially habitat number 70,115. (This photo is from last year.)
The National Wildlife Federation sponsors this program to encourage people to take wildlife into consideration when they are planning and maintaining their gardens. This is the 70th anniversary of the NWF and their goal is to certify 70,000 backyards by the end of the year. You can see by my number that they have exceeded their goal.
You can read more about the program in the August/September issue of Birds & Blooms or visit their website.
A backyard habitat doesn’t have to be big or elaborate to qualify for the program. It just has to provide food, shelter, water, and nesting or breeding areas. And you’ll be more successful in attracting local wildlife if you use some native plants in your garden. Our visitors include a variety of birds, as well as tortoises, snakes, lizards, rabbits, opossums, armadillos, and raccoons.
A few other tips: I very seldom use any pesticides. I have a brush pile and dead log in a remote area of the yard. I put water in bird baths, dishes, bowls, and saucers in a variety of locations. I have several evergreens for winter protection.
I encourage you to visit the NWF site and consider creating your own little habitat. It just makes you feel good! (Besides when your garden looks a little “messy”, you can just remind your neighbors that it’s a “natural habitat”. )