Whether you are in the midst of fall, spring, or summer, we all know that winter will come again in all its glory. You might not think winter is very glorious looking at your yard at that time of year, but there are many ways you can enliven it naturally with plants and wildlife alike. If you are keen on creating a colorful, wildlife-friendly yard, consider these winter wildlife-friendly gardening ideas.
Ideas for Winter Wildlife-Friendly Gardening
Use Leaf Litter as Mulch
Don’t bag up the fall leaves for the landscapers or garbagemen to take to the landfill; turn them into mulch with the mower and use them as mulch for your garden beds. You can let bits of leaves lie on your lawn to feed the grass as well. Insects and critters take shelter in leaf litter, and the leaf mulch will feed and protect your plants. Just don’t over do it. Too much leaf coverage can cause molds and funguses around your plants and lawns.
Leave Dead Flower Heads for the Birds
You can maintain a very neat landscape by deadheading your spent summer and fall flowers, but it turns out that birds love the seeds they get from these dead flower heads. The seeds from sunflowers and purple coneflowers are good examples. Certain types of bugs find refuge in the stalks over the winter as well. Allow them to remain until spring returns. Then you can prune the dead foliage and stalks.
Plant Bushes with Winter Berries
Not all plants are dormant in winter. Consider incorporating bushes with winter berries for the birds. Popular species include Winterberry (native to Maryland), Beautyberry (native to Maryland), Chokeberry (native to Maryland), Holly (some native to Maryland), Japanese Laurel, and Viburnum (some native to Maryland), among many, many others. If you are looking to renovate your home’s landscape and would like to make it as wildlife-friendly as possible, you can ask The Landscape Design Center for suggestions on the what and where of your winter berry-producing shrubs.
Evergreens add color to your backyard during this otherwise drab season. It’s best to have at least one evergreen shrub or tree visible on all sides of your house to give your landscape interest. These plants also provide birds with more robust shelter from the elements.
It doesn’t have to end there. You can always get creative with hanging bird feeders, birdhouses, bird baths, and edible wreaths for birds. Winter wildlife-friendly gardening can be fun!
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