Backyard Habitat Inspiration

Part of creating a sustainably designed garden has to do with enticing wildlife into your yard.  In order to do that, you need to have food sources, shelter, and water.  The task seemed so huge that I wasn't sure where to begin. 

But then I looked out the window of the River Bend's Visitor Center and saw the backyard habitat that they had constructed.

The design is so simple, and some of the features are already incorporated into my own backyard, thanks to the fact that it was ignored by previous renters! 

That big pile of sticks is a good example.  Having very old, very large trees on our lot, there's an endless supply of fallen branches.  Many of them are already stacked together behind the garage.  That's one less thing for me to worry about!  It's a beautifully easy way of providing shelter.

You'll also notice several different types of bird feeders.  There's a low platform feeder to the left of the pile of branches, a tube feeder in the forefront of the photo, a platform feeder on a pole, a cage feeder beside that, and while it's not visible in this photo, there's also a rock used as a ground feeder.  I need to start on this aspect.

Of course, there's also that gorgeous pond with a low energy waterfall streaming into it.  The rocks are all native, and the water is shallow.  You'll also see a rock placed in the middle of the centeral tier of the fountain.  Insects need a place to rest, too, after all!

There are tall grasses along the edges, as well as three trees.  Again, we have shelter and hiding places.

You may wonder why a backyard habitat seems so important to me.  The answer is quite simple:

If your yard welcomes in many different types of creatures (birds, small mammals, bugs, amphibians, reptiles, etc.) it is more resistant to diseases.  This is due to proper control techniques that keep the system in balance.  These techniques are easy to apply, because you as a human do nothing but create a small welcoming area.  The animals do all the work for you.  Sure, you may need to pick beetles off of leaves every now and then... but your pesticide using neighbor has to do the same, and many times has to do it more often. 

Create a backyard habitat and let wildlife in!  Your garden will love you for it.