Gardening for Birds, Butterflies, and Bees: Everything you need to Know to Create a wildlife Habitat in your Backyard
Editors at Birds and Blooms Magazine
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Whether you’re installing a new garden bed or trying to attract orioles for the first time, it helps to start with the right information. And here it is! In this book, experts and readers from North America's #1 Bird and Garden Magazine, Birds & Blooms, give their tried-and-true advice.
Attracting birds and butterflies has never been simpler—plus you’ll get the latest tips and advice for supporting the dwindling bee population, which experts say is essential for the future of gardening. Inside this book, you’ll find irresistible plants for birds, butterflies, and bees, creative garden designs for year-round beauty, and our top plant lists to take the guesswork out of gardening.
No matter what the subject, everyone wants advice they can trust. This is certainly the case when it comes to the backyard. Whether you’re installing a new garden bed or trying to attract orioles for the first time, it helps to start with the right information. And here it is!
Birds, butterflies and bees rely on plants, trees and shrubs to survive and thrive. That’s why doing your part for the environment by establishing critter-friendly areas in your own backyard is so crucial. Chances are, your garden is already a welcoming space for all kinds of nature, but with a little extra research and planning, you can take your gardening a couple steps further and transform your yard into a healthier and happier sanctuary for birds, butterflies and bees.
This book, brought to you by the editors of Birds & Blooms magazine, can serve as your guide to attracting new visitors to your landscape. Birds & Blooms has helped lead the trend we like to call “gardening with a purpose” for over 20 years. We’ve always recognized the importance of going beyond just the beauty of a garden, and purposefully choosing flowers, trees and shrubs specifically for their environmental benefits.
Birds count on healthy trees and plants as natural food sources and nesting sites. Butterflies need nectar-rich blooms for nourishment. Very specific host plants are key to caterpillar survival. And as bee populations decline, flowers that provide nectar and pollen are more essential than ever. Each of these creatures requires natural shelter as well, which trees and shrubs readily provide.
If you’re ready to commit to sharing your garden with all sorts of nature, sit down with this book and let us help you create a successful space. All of the 250+ featured plants are not only gorgeous and colorful, but they offer a lot of environmental benefits, too. We made sure to include amazing photos of every plant we’re recommending, so you’ll be able to see what each plant looks like and immediately know if it’s a good fit for your garden.
We even went a step further and put together some handy symbols to help you achieve the wildlife-friendly backyard of your dreams. Look for the symbols next to each plant profile to discover what the plant will attract. (Some plants are a triple whammy and attract birds, butterflies and bees!) For extra guidance, check the light-requirement symbols. You’ll be able to quickly see if a plant should be grown in shade, part-shade or full sun—vital info you need to know to create a great habitat.
Once you’ve established a flourishing backyard, be sure to enjoy your new guests. Throughout this book, we’ve highlighted about 70 bird species and 35 butterfly species you might see in your space. Have fun identifying all of the birds, butterflies and bees in your own backyard!
Creating a Wildlife-Friendly Backyard
Grasses and Vines
Trees and Shrubs
Backyard Bird Profiles
Backyard Butterfly Profiles
Frequently Asked Questions
Backyard Projects and Resources
well-draining soil (including rock-filled sites), but also tolerates more arid conditions. 11 Milkweed Picks for Bees & Butterflies Green milkweed Heartleaf milkweed Poke milkweed Prairie milkweed Purple milkweed Sand milkweed Spider milkweed Tall green milkweed Wavy-leaved milkweed Whorled milkweed Woollypod milkweed STOKES’ ASTER Stokesia laevis, Zones 5 to 9 Colorful fringed petals fan out from the center of this native daisy that’s beloved by butterflies. Each amply sized bloom
reaches 20 to 30 feet tall and grows best in partial to full sun. FOTHERGILLA Fothergilla spp., Zones 4 to 8 With bluish foliage that turns gold, orange and purple in fall, this shrub is a garden standout long after its fluffy spring flowers—attractive to warblers and vireos that eat resident insects—fade. Larger varieties of fothergilla reach 8 feet tall, while dwarf cultivars are less than half that size. Plant it in a sunny spot with acidic soil. FRINGE TREE Chionanthus virginicus, Zones
accents. Voice: Over two dozen different songs. The most common song is: What cheer! What cheer! What cheer! Habitat: Sheltered backyards, woodland edges and parks. Nesting: Three to four whitish-gray eggs with brown speckles. Builds a nest of twigs and grasses hidden in dense trees or shrubs. Diet: Seeds in winter; insects, such as beetles and cicadas, in the summer; berries and other fruits when they are available. Backyard Favorites: Sunflower seeds, safflower seeds and cracked corn.
and a green and yellow stripe on each side. Host Plant: Nettle. BALTIMORE CHECKERSPOT Euphydryas phaeton Wingspan: 1-5/8 to 2-1/2 inches. Distinctive Markings: Black wings have orange- and cream-colored spots, plus orange crescents mark outer margins. Habitat: Wet meadows and bogs; forest hillsides. Caterpillar: Caterpillars are black with orange stripes and branching black spines. Host Plants: Turtlehead, false foxglove, plantain and white ash tree. BRONZE COPPER Hyllolycaena hyllus
time to keep it from drying out too fast and cracking. Let your project dry slowly for about 24 hours, then peel off the leaf. If the casting feels brittle, let it sit for another day. Step 8. After the casting has dried for a good week, you can paint or seal it. (We painted this one green.) Or just leave it as is! BIRDBATH MAINTENANCE You can leave your birdbath out year-round, but if it’s painted or stained, you may want to bring it inside during winter. Clean it just as you would any other