Jul 15 2010
How our perception of the garden has changed
We garden in perilous times. Invading diseases, insects and plants, all the approximation of our gardens, usually thwarted by the increasingly destructive measures. Often, many plants we use in these gardens are part of the problem. In 1976 Hal Bruce’s work, How To Grow Wildflowers and wild shrubs and trees in their garden, he recommends Lythrum salicaria, although he noted that “the wetlands south of Philadelphia are covered with this plant, and that “must be viewed as it is invasive.” (HAL is teaching English at the University of Delaware at the time).
It is interesting to note that about thirty years later, the same institution, Dr. Doug Tallamy, chairman of Entomology and Ecology of the U of D, it is revealing studies of insect populations in relation to indigenous or native plants. It seems that there is a direct link between the insect’s ability to reproduce type and how much is not a native plant mass in the ecosystem. Less native plant mass is less insect biomass. This sounds good until you start to look at the effect of the fauna up the food chain. Vegetation is the basis of nearly every food chain on the planet, but it is most effective when they are native species. We have become much more attuned to our impact on nature in these thirty years, but we are not yet fully understand and act on the consequences.
Local Gardening is a global effect:
Dr. Aldo Leopold (Sand County Almanac which preceded Mr. Bruce nearly thirty years) says,
“Something is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.
I would suggest we look to our gardens in many things many ways. At a time when natural plant and animal habitats are shrinking, we often publishing types who blow up those same local areas. Over 700,000 acres of the United States has been transmitted parking lots, while we have only twenty acres, or prairie grasses Eastern short left.
Increasing population expands more in the wilderness, but our replacement flora tend to be not born. It is not surprising that we continue to lose local fauna species and their food webs in the council itself based on the food pyramid, the plants themselves. And yet we support are not natives in our environment with chemical and labor-intensive practices. creed Dr. Leopold, understand or are not heeded by society as a whole, or even those of us who host our little pieces of the ecosphere.
Designing a garden with four pillars of habitats
But a better model begins to take hold. Gardeners like Sara Stein, who is Noah’s book chronicles her education garden fresh new suburbanite commitments native plant gardener, have begun to explore the idea of a garden that not only vivid picture for aesthetic reasons, but an integral part of work Nature. It is possible to provide the basic necessities for a large number of species in a small space if you make sure to mind the four pillars of habitats:
Native plants are an integral part of all these pillars and the key to maintaining the birds and butterflies in our yard for years to come. Let’s look at some of the ways for gardeners to save the planet, one backyard at a time …
Food: Your Garden Food Environment
Native plants are already much of the natural food web in your area. All you have to do is identify some of the existing sources of food in your area to get some ideas about what food and supplies will be easy to grow. Eastern red cedar, oak and fruit services are the best examples of easily found sources of food that will be useful to duplicate in your yard.
Food: your garden as a livelihood for local wildlife
Another way to choose plants to choose a specific animal wants to bring to court and try to use plants that are food sources for that animal. If you want to attract wild turkeys, then planting acorns, beech, crabapples and Hawthorns will surely them in.
If you want to attract monarch butterflies then you should address different stages of their development, providing nectar plants for adult stages (Asters, bee balm, butterfly weed, coreopsis, Coneflower, lupine, Phlox, black-eyed Susan, yarrow and a good mother nectar plants) and butterfly weed (Asclepias SPP.) also doubles as a larval (caterpillar) food source (in this case it is the only source, which makes it important to be double secured. This would be a good idea to provide twice as ).
Providing a wide range of flowering times and berrying reserves stocked closet for longer, so long as elderberry plants are ready in mid-summer and autumn shrub dogwoods, plants such as winterberry and Aron are not as unacceptable to the birds (and current their treasures for us to enjoy visually), require a series of cold fruit to reduce and concentrate the sugars to the end of winter food source.
Grasses are still outstanding food source for the number of different types and choice of local grass next available for home gardeners begin to rival any of the exotics we have found familiar with (there is a growing concern species Miscanthus, “soul of trade, but mono-cultural native species in the vicinity) Switchgrass, Indian grass and little bluestem are excellent low maintenance additions to any limit.
Supplementary feeding may be beneficial as well, but the provision of resources found elsewhere in the ecosphere helps to prevent the use of human resources and provide for other purposes in the landscape.
Water is the basis of all life on the planet and every species of native flora needs in some fashion. Whether you can provide habitat for lake water birds, a birdbath or a plate of chickadees damp sand for a puddle of butterflies, their introduction of water in your environment will be assessed by some form of wildlife. No need to install the lake (although this is an excellent idea) to provide sufficient water to support many different species.