"With the right structure, food and water, they'll thank you all season long," says Beshoar. "You'll notice a gradual increase in the number of friendly animals visiting your yard when you create a welcoming environment."
5 Ideas for Creating Your Very Own Winter Wildlife Habitat
Care for the birds. Add feeders, nesting boxes and birdhouses to invite more feathered friends to your yard. Plant both deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs that provide hiding spaces, habitat and food supplies to create a sustainable environment for active winter birds.
Go native. Choose trees and shrubs that are native to your area for a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape that's also beneficial to local wildlife. Plant a diverse variety to offer multiple benefits. Many woody plants produce fruit or nuts that animals love to snack on during the winter months. Trees such as hawthorn, crabapple, holly, and sumac offer emergency winter food as well.
Design like nature. Birds and other wildlife will find food and shelter in various areas and various heights. Copy nature's design by planting trees and layering shrubs and other tree species in groups. Your Davey Tree arborist can advise you on the best way to plant in groups and still ensure you are planting the right trees in the right place.
Don't deadhead. Now is not the time to clip and remove spent plants. Leave plants untrimmed for the season. Birds will feast on seeds and stalks from certain species and others provide camouflage from predators.
Add water. Just like trees, wild animals need fresh water during winter to prevent dehydration. Make it easy for them by adding a pond or birdbath. Birds will also use water to fluff feathers that add extra protection from the cold.
Not sure which trees and shrubs are native to your local area? Schedule an appointment with a certified arborist today. Your arborist can provide recommendations for your landscape and tips to make it enjoyable year-round, and not just for the birds.
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By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
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