Wildlife gardens let you get more out of life and help our environment as well.
Gardening in America is the most popular outdoor activity and bird watching is listed as number two; why not combine both outdoor activities?
You can even plant aromatic herbs to please your senses and heal the body!
For example, Chamomile plants are easy to grow; wild birds love the seeds and the tea is great for allergies and Insomnia.
Think of this as "Applied Ecology" or "planning and orchestrating the study of and bio-diversity of Life for your own family's purposes." Using native plants, you can even lower your monthly watering costs in these "Xeriscaping", wildlife-landscape designs!
The word "Ecology", interestingly enough was coined by a German biologist named Ernest Haeckel in 1869 from the Greek word "oikos" meaning home or "place to live"! Why not make your home or place of business all it can be by enlisting Nature help?
Actually, by combining a love of gardening, a spot for wildlife and rare herbs, you'll be helping Mother Nature keeps some of Her genetic bio-diversity alive in your backyard or business and attract people's attention to!
Ecologist Andre Dubos explains:
"Many people believe that much of the damage done to the Earth is so profound that it is now irreversible. Fortunately, this pessimism is probably unjustified because ecosystems have enormous powers of recovery from traumatic damage.
Ecosystems possess several mechanisms for self-healing. Some of these are analogous to the homeostatic mechanisms of animal life; they enable ecosystems to overcome the effects of outside disturbances simply by reestablishing progressively the original state of ecological equilibrium....
..."wooing of the earth" suggests that the relationship between humankind and Nature should be one of respect and love rather than domination.
Among people, the outcome of wooing can be rich, satisfying, and lastingly successful only if both partners are modified by their association so as to become better adapted to each other.
Furthermore, the outcome is more interesting when both partners retain elements of their individuality - their own wildness." from THE WOOING OF EARTH by Andre Dubos (Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1980), page 68.
You'll even be part of ALDO LEOPOLD'S LAND ETHIC
"FOR ONE SPECIES TO MOURN THE DEATH OF ANOTHER IS A NEW THING UNDER THE SUN.
The Cro-Magnon who slew the last mammoth thought only of steaks. The sportsman who shot the last Passenger Pigeon thought only of his prowess. The sailor who clubbed the last auk thought of nothing at all. But we, who have lost our pigeons, mourn the loss. Had the funeral been ours, the pigeons would hardly have mourned us. In this fact, rather than in Mr. Dupont's nylons or Mr. Vannevar Bush's bombs, lies objective evidence of our superiority over the beasts."
- from A SAND COUNTY ALMANAC by Aldo Leopold (Ballantine Books, New York, 1970), page 117.
What wildlife outside the window brings to people of all ages:
. Unusual Plants and landscaping can provide year-round color and these actions increase your property values 10 to 25% and can make a property stand out above all the rest on a crowded housing or business lot market.
* Birds and small animals add zest to daily life by bring spontaneous wonderment, varied antics and colors, and even music and sounds into our ancestral brain's sensual arena. Most find this sensual response soothing and relaxing.
* These life miniatures bring elements of Nature and rural memories to young and old up close, right in the back yard or just outside the window - where we can observe it ever day.
* Children are especially fascinated by the hyperactivity of wild song birds year-round, especially during the cold and "Lifeless" winter.
* With adult instruction, Children can develop an early interest in Nature and the world beyond themselves and caring for others by watching these little actors act out their lives separate from Yours.
* Even seasoned birdwatchers can learn new things every day by observing birds attracted by Backyard Wildlife Habitats. Photography and keeping careful notes ( e.g. food, nest-building, child-rearing, etc.) on wildlife observed adds to the knowledge-base about various animals and their range around the world.
A compilation of bird photographs arranged with text published in a booklet format makes You a "local expert"!
* Wildlife have special jobs to do or "niches" in the natural world that can work for You helping You landscape and maintain your property naturally. For example, Goldfinches love dandelion seeds and they will pluck them right off the feathery seed plume before the seeds can escape into your lawn sod. Goldfinches love to nest and live year-round in large, colorful and often fragrant rose brambles.
It is amazing the amount of work these animals can do for You year-round by simply eating invasive weeds or insect pests in and around Your home. A U.S. Department of Agriculture study found ten song sparrows can eat 875 tons of weed seeds or insects FULL TIME simply to live - the equivalent of 20 railroad box cars of seeds/bugs each year!
Note: All birds eats your summer bugs an feed them to their young for a rich source of protein!
* Lastly Wildlife are a very cheap investment to enhance Your Family and clients' future quality of life. Like the Goldfinches' rose brambles, which provide food, shelter and nesting or a "Home" for Your year-round, NO hassle-helpful, outside guests.
What do You see outside your window now? Can it be improved? Even Dentist have found "wildlife attracting gardens" outside Dental office windows entertain, relax and re-assure patients while their teeth are being worked on!
There is not enough room here to describe all the thousands of things You can do in your backyard or business to combine gardening, wildlife and aromatic herbs (i.e. Barbeque Spice beds - tea gardens, Perpetual bird seed/feed beds, Hummingbird-Butterfly Islands, Goldfinches' rose hedges, Night-fragrant Gardens, Cutflower-Bird seed displays, Aromatic-Medicinal herbs beds, Woody Wildlife Corners to attract native song birds year-round). Creativity is your only limiting factor for this process of improving your quality of life from here on out.
A good place to start is using your computer's search engine and type in "National Wildlife Federation".