With many of the seed catalogues arriving, I’m already thinking about what I might plant new for next year. I really enjoy the wildlife that visit our garden, and believe me it is quite a bit as we are a rural farm. As much as I plant to discourage the deer, and build protective fences around the apiary to discourage the bears, I like to plant flowers and shrubs that are beneficial in attracting wildlife, such as the smaller creatures. I want to encourage bees, butterflies and birds to not only visit, but to make our garden their home.
Reading through the glossy catalogues and colorful web sites I began a list of seeds to purchase for this spring, with the little creatures in mind. If you are interested in growing plants for wildlife as well, take a look at some of these suggestions. They may not all be suitable to your garden, but certainly some will be. If you want to encourage the birds and bees into your garden give some of these flowers a try.
Wildlife Friendly Plants:
Asters make up a very large family and all types are good for attracting bees, butterflies and other insects. In beautiful shades of pink, white, purple they are easy to grow in most soils.
Pyracantha is a beautiful evergreen shrub that attracts bees with it’s small white flowers. Glorious orange berries are produced in the fall attracting birds of many types.
Sedum is another large family of plants that attract bees and butterflies. Selections vary from ground covers to tall perennial plants. Insists on lots of sun and well drained soil.
Erigeron has lovely flowers for bees and butterflies. Mid size clumps of mauve to blue flowers are easily grown and quite drought tolerant.
Heliotrope is grown as an annual in many gardens. One of the most fragrant flowers you can grow and wonderful for attracting butterflies.
Sunflowers are loved by the birds. Keep the heads on over the winter and you will have birds visiting for sure.
Cotoneaster is a useful evergreen shrub that will grow in adverse conditions. Bees love the spring flowers and birds enjoy the bright fall berries.
Iberis or candytuft is a great edging plant which grows easily and is drought tolerant. The butterflies love it when in bloom.