top of page
Throw A Party.jpg

Support The Wildlife! Throw A Party!

I am often asked, which native species will attract wildlife? The answer is simple—all of them.  The native flora is a fundamental part of the web of life that supports all animals, large and small. 

Sometimes the species we plant in our landscape to attract wildlife do not meet our expectations. This is because attracting wildlife and supporting it are two different things. When we try attracting wildlife, we assume that the critters already live in the area. Supporting wildlife means creating habitat for them to live.

So, support the wildlife and throw a party! A good party is more than some chips, cold beer, and loud music—it is a gathering of friends and family brought together by food, drink, and cause for celebration. Plan your landscape like you would a party and watch as more than just a few familiar friends drop by.

The location of your gathering influences the kind of party you plan and the friends you invite. If you live on several acres, you will have no problem laying out an impressive spread. If you live in the city or suburbs, you may not have the room to throw an inaugural ball, but there is still enough space for a lavish landscape soiree. Even small landscapes can provide habitat for wildlife while providing year-round beauty. Start by making a list of who you want to invite and who is likely to come. Here are a few more simple tips for throwing a wild party:

  • Start with a theme—Choose a few well adapted species and plant them in mass. Use other plants in smaller numbers, like garnish, for accent, diversity, and interest.

  • Soup to nuts (and bugs)—Plan a scrumptious and diverse menu by including plants that produce flowers, dry seeds, nuts, and fleshy fruits. For butterflies, choose species that support nectaring adults and provide munchies for the kids (caterpillars). Remember, many birds feed on insects for all or part of their diet – native plants attract all kinds of bugs. 

  • Ambiance—Create various environments by combining wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees to provide open and protected areas.

  • Don't run out of food—Select a combination of plants that provide food all year round. If you have limited space, choose plants that provide food and cover when resources are most limited, usually winter through late spring.

  • Always offer your guests something to drink—Entice your wild friends by supplying water year-round. 

  • Don't do the dishes until morning and provide your guests a place to stay after a long night of partying—Avoid raking leaves and cutting perennials back in the fall. These leaves and dead stems provide places to overwinter, food, and nesting material for fauna. You will also appreciate their subtle colors and textures, particularly after a fresh snowfall. This will help the festivities last all season.


Party on!

bottom of page