I’m so happy to be celebrating our third blogiversary with Team Beautiful Wildlife Garden!
It’s kind of hard to imagine that our team has written 933 articles, and you our dear readers have left us over 10,000 thoughtful comments over the course of the past 3 years.
We are so grateful to you for your support, for your comments, and for sharing our articles on Facebook, Twitter, and your other social media accounts.
I’d like to highlight some of the most popular posts from the past year from each of our team members so that you can celebrate this journey with us. Click on each team member’s name under these posts to see all of the articles written by them.
It seems like I run into a lot of books these days promising a low-maintenance, no-maintenance, effortless garden. Generally I view this promise the same way that I view free energy, perpetual motion machines, and anything that promises to increase my libido while delivering millions from a deposed Nigerian prince. A garden requires gardening. Somebody has to do it. If you don’t do it, then either you hire a gardener or gardening does not occur. (If you live in the Southeast, this means that one day you don’t show up for work and people arrive to discover that the house has vanished under kudzu)…. by Ursula Vernon. (Ursula is also part of the team at Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens, read Ursula’s posts at NPWG)
Wax Myrtle (Myrica cerifera or Morella cerifera) aka Southern Bayberry is an evergreen, which is native to the U.S. It is versatile and will work for most landscapes. It can be used alone as a great specimen or group together to form quick growing hedges or privacy screens. Left unpruned, it will become a multitrunk tree, which can reach heights of 25 feet but is normally maintained at 10 to 15 feet. It is a naturally occurring species in my Pine Flatwoods ecosystem and gives a myriad of wildlife entertainment to those who choose it for their landscapes…. by Loret T. Setters. (Loret also writes at Team Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens, read Loret’s posts at NPWG)
“The control of nature is a phrase conceived in arrogance, born of the Neanderthal age of biology and the convenience of man”. ~Rachel Carson
Lately I have been dealing with invasive plants in my meadow, and while it is time consuming and can be quite the battle it seems you can at least make some headway even with some of the worst invasives. But this summer I was under siege again but this time from a different invasive that is harder to battle; insects, non-native insects to be exact…. by Donna Donabella
I am a female Monarch butterfly, flying high above Pismo Beach, flying from the tall Eucalyptus trees, where I have been sleeping this winter. How I love the California Coast! It has everything I need here: moderate winter temps, clean air, and I am making friends to help me keep warm. The sun comes out. I feel its warmth on my wings… I open them, flashing orange at any passersby. There are none. Presently, I fly off across the Meadow. What do I spy down there? Could it be Milkweed? I zoom in for a closer look. There to my unbelieving eyes, yes, they even have milkweed here! I can lay my eggs on the Milkweed plants right here and then go back to my California lifestyle. No need to go anywhere else. I have what I need right here at the Hotel California…. Kathy Villim
Feeding the birds with backyard bird feeders is a popular thing to do. It’s a “feel good” activity that gives joy to those that watch the birds from their window and delights the birds that are willing to visit them. The more birds that visit, the happier the humans are. Feeders and seeds are widely available; you can even find supplies in grocery stores. There are also stores devoted to backyard feeding and bird watching and, in 1989, the National Bird-Feeding Society (NBFS) was formed. I’m sorry to say, however, that bird feeders are not saving the world. They are not even saving most of the bird species…. by Ellen Honeycutt
When Carole invited me to be a part of this community, I took some time to reflect on the common threads between those of us who try to garden sustainably. Love of beautiful plants and a desire to create more butterfly habitat are voted in unanimously among us. Sometimes and naturally there’s different opinions and values, born out of different experiences. Listening to different folks pontificate and trying to express myself about my perspectives on gardening and ethics forces me to evaluate how I like being approached when someone wants to teach me something I may not be aware I need to learn…. by Jesse Elwert Peters
Have you ever gazed out of the kitchen window at your beautiful wildlife garden on a cold winter’s day? It looks so barren and lonely. Have you ever wondered where the butterflies go during this time of year? As humans, we get to bundle up in our fuzzy flannels and spend the winter months indoors all snug in our homes, drinking hot chocolate. But what about the butterflies – our delicate winged wonders? The gradual arrival of cooler nights, combined with the shorter daylight hours of the autumn season, signals all members of the insect kingdom to prepare for the onset of winter…. by Judy Burris
A number of insects have a life story straight out of Sci-Fi, Science Fiction. Or maybe its the other way around, science fiction has been taken from true life. Many of these “sci-fi insects” are the ones you want to invite into your yard. Some people are of the belief that the only good insect is a dead insect. While it is true that there are some “bad bugs” out there, there are even more kinds of “good bugs” doing their part to keep the bad ones in check. The ratio is about 99 percent beneficial or neutral to one percent pests. And the beneficials have some really wild habits…. by Jacqueline Soule. Jacqueline is also part of Team Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens, read Jacqueline’s posts at NPWG)
Surprise! A goal of my hike this morning was to find a cover shot for my Facebook timeline. I was collecting images of tree bark, lichen, and beautiful mosses, all possible candidates. At a mature sassafras tree, as I worked around some poison ivy vines, I came upon quite a surprise: two big eyes looking back at me. Turns out, it was an eyed click beetle or eyed elater (Alaus oculatus). To me, he’s a pretty funny looking creature. This beetle is quite large, almost 2 inches long. He has enormous fake eyespots on his back, which are a means of protection… by Brenda Clements Jones
Habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to human activity is the leading cause of bird population declines. Birdscaping your garden will create an oasis in a desert of development. Birdscaping is one of the very few activities that truly follows the motto “If you build it, they will come,” and grants immediate gratification. I’ve seen proof of this over and over in my work designing and installing wildlife gardens. One day I was installing a long waterfall into a pond because my client wanted to provide a water source for the birds. I was just smoothing the liner into the trench when suddenly there was a Black-throated Green Warbler hopping along the waterfall, even though there was no water yet…. by Carole Sevilla Brown. (Carole is also part of Team Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens, read Carole’s posts at NPWG)
We’re really looking forward to our next year with you. Thanks so much for being part of our journey!
And we want to give a hearty round of applause to the original team members at Beautiful Wildlife Garden who were so instrumental in getting us started on this successful journey.
Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.
© 2013, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of BeautifulWildlifeGarden.com If you are reading this at another site, please report that to us