What You Need for a Wildlife Garden

Find out how to welcome wild creatures into your backyard for shelter and food.
From: DK Books - Family Garden

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Just for Kids

Wildlife gardens are perfect for families. A paradise for butterflies, bees and frogs, these gardens awaken children’s interest in the natural world, teaching them first-hand about the behavior and habitats of wildlife.

Bird Nesting Box

A bird nesting box provides a secure home for birds and their young. This quirky version sits on top of an obelisk, and will soon be made more private and appealing by the growing foliage.

How to Attract a Variety of Birds

Place a variety of feeders around the yard to appeal to different types of birds. This ground-feeder encourages birds like doves and finches, but don't be surprised if you see a couple squirrels helping themselves to the buffet!

Add a Water Source

Clean, fresh water needs to be available to birds at all times, especially on hot, humid days. If the weather is particularly hot, cool water is best; if water is allowed to stand even for a short period of time and get warm, birds will not drink.

Bird Nesting Box

A nesting box secured to a tree will provide a safe home where birds can raise their family. Some pairs of birds use the same nesting box year after year. Position box near a food source so adult birds do not have to travel far to feed their young.

Insect House

Insect houses act as winter quarters for beneficial creatures such as native bees, ladybugs and lacewings. Site them near plants that are attacked by aphids so they can get right to work in the spring.

Grow Wildflowers

Plant a natural mix of wildflowers if a backyard space is big enough. A colorful mix of red poppies and other nectar-rich flowers will attract pollinating insects.

Flowers for Butterflies

Flowers that are rich in nectar will be attractive to butterflies. Encourage them by placing plants in sunny sheltered spots and near a source of water.

Natural Limits

This mix of formal and wildlife styles shows great ingenuity. The naturalized grasses attract beneficial insects and birds that will keep pests away from the more formal plantings.

Log Pile

A log pile provides a home for beetles and frogs, and can even make a winter shelter for a chipmunk or weasel. Leave a few piles undisturbed in nooks of the yard to attract these beneficial creatures.

Install a Pond

Backyard wildlife ponds create homes and breeding places for beneficial animals and insects. A pond also adds an interesting focal point to landscape design.

Water World

Even a small pool attracts a whole range of animals and insects. Make sure one side of the pond has a sloping edge so that small mammals can get out if they fall in and birds can bathe. Use oxygenating plants to keep the water clear.