The Riddle of What Exactly Is Wildscaping?

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Posted by Julien Stern | Posted in landscaping | Posted on 04-01-2013

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Many gardeners and landscapers have not heard of the term wildscaping which is quickly growing in popularity.

Wildscaping is a method of designing your home’s landscaping in a way that will help to attract local wildlife. This is typically done by using a wide variety of different plants which are native to the area. In addition to attracting wildlife, this is often a great way to have an easy to maintain landscape since the plants will naturally thrive.

Types of Wildlife Which Are Attracted

When you’re planning your wildscaping project it is important to think about what types of wildlife you most want to attract. For most people they will be looking to bring in smaller animals such as birds or butterflies.

If you’re not careful, however, you might attract some larger animals as well. Learning how to attract the most desirable animals can be tricky at first, but it is well worth the effort. Below are some simple tips and tricks that will help you to get started (you can also read the article series, Austin Wildscape Landscaping For Wildlife for some more tips):

  • Attracting Birds – To attract birds you’re going to want to try to think of either what they eat or where they live, or both. Many people today are planting bushes and flowers that grow seeds or berries which birds love. This is a more natural way to attract birds than a bird feeder, and in many cases will be more effective as well. If you’re looking to bring in one particular type of bird you can do some simple research to find exactly what foods they eat or what types of trees they prefer to live in and plant those.
  • Attracting Butterflies – Butterflies enjoy eating out of a wide range of flowers. There are hundreds of different species of butterfly so find out which ones you want to attract and plant the flowers they prefer. Remember, many butterflies don’t stay in the same area all year so it might be smart to wildscape your yard for a variety of different types.
  • Small Mammals – While many people think of bunnies, squirrels, chipmunks and other small mammals as pests, others love watching them scurry around. When planting things that these little critters like, make sure to plant them far enough from the house that they won’t try to break in.
  • Larger Mammals – In some parts of the country, like right here in Texas, you can plant different things to bring in larger animals like deer, raccoons, elk and other large animals. This is only recommended when you have a lot of property and can keep them at enough of a distance to ensure safety. Remember, these are wild animals and they can quickly hurt you or cause a lot of property damage.

Benefits of Wildscaping

While the primary reasons many people start learning about wildscaping is that they want to attract the wildlife to their yard, there are other benefits as well.

To start with there is the fact that the vast majority of plants which will attract animals native to your area will be plants which are also native to the area. This is because most animals that thrive in a particular part of the country do so because there is an abundance of whatever plants they eat, or safety for them.

Planting things which are native to the area will make them much easier to keep healthy since you won’t be fighting the natural climate or water levels each plant likes. People living in dryer areas, for example, will find that plants which thrive on low amounts of moisture are easier to take care of.

More and more people today are trying to live their lives in a more harmonious way, and this is especially true when it comes to nature.

People are eating organic foods, trying to buy from local farmers and generally just live in a more natural way. This is just one of the reasons why wildscaping is becoming so popular.

As we learn new ways to live and work with nature, rather than fighting and destroying it we will almost certainly find that our lives become easier, more peaceful and enjoyable as well.
If you’re looking to start a wildscaping project you’re going to want to first take some time doing the research.

Once you get started it you’ll find that it’s quite easy to find all the plants you want, but keeping them healthy is important. Make sure you know which plants are full sun tolerant and which are not, for example. It can also be confusing to match up which plants will attract which animals. You can learn about this type of thing by either doing some research on the Internet, or just going out and observing nature. Taking pictures of plants you like and bringing them to an expert in your area is another great way to learn more.

Remember, the more you know about the local plant and wildlife the more successful your wildscaping project will be.

It is also important to note that it can often take time for the animals to discover the new plants you’ve chosen. Birds and other animals will eventually discover them so just keep your yard nice and healthy and remain patient until you begin to see your new friends moving into the area.

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