Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Texas Hill Country Natural Garden

That corner in your backyard ~ you know, the one you keep meaning to clean out and landscape. A good suggestion may be to have a natural garden.

If you already have plants that are native to the area, they can provide food, water and shelter for butterflies, bees and birds. Plants and flowers can provide nectar, seeds and berries. Texas Hill Country native plants attract wildlife to your yard easier than exotic plants may.

The following trees and plants will encourage birds as they produce seeds and grasses:

  • Little Bluestem
  • Pigeonberry
  • American Beautyberry
  • Texas Barberry

To invite lovely butterflies, their favorite flowers include:
  • Salvia
  • Sages
  • Trumpet Honeysuckle
  • Cross Vine
  • Verbenas
  • Cosmos
  • Zinnias

It will be necessary to appeal to pollinators including moths, bees and black-chinned hummingbirds. They are all attracted to:

  • Kidneybush
  • Cherry Laurel
  • Mexican Buckeye
  • Yucca
  • Flame Acanthus

Interesting birds, butterflies, moths, etc will need adequate shelter. Butterflies need protection from winds. They, along with insects and lizards will make their homes in stacked, dry stone. High trees and thick cedar brush provide shelter for cardinals, blue jays and mockingbirds. Wax myrtle and holly produce berries for food. A brush pile or even a log or dead tree is idea for small birds such as wrens. Owls and woodpeckers will find a tree with cavities appealing.

As we are limited on water during the hot summer months, a permanent pond or fountain is ideal, but not necessary. Simply installing a bird bath with a dripper will quickly attract birds. If you enjoy hummingbirds, they love a mister. This is a fun addition to any yard.

Broken flower pots work well for toad houses. Place them near the bird bath with a dripper to encourage guests. Adding birdhouses or nesting ledges, protected from the elements entice young families to live in your garden. 

Prepare to be entertained in your little bit of paradise as you begin seeing God's creatures mingling in your garden.

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