How I Got Started

I started Butterfly gardening many years ago. My yard has been a progression over the years, and has made many transformations. Twenty years ago I experienced Hurricane Andrew. My yard and house were destroyed. We decided not to replace the pool screening and open up the backyard and put in some landscaping. That was the official beginning of my love for gardening in South Florida. I added a beautiful water garden years ago, and have been adding host and larvae plants for pollinators, mostly for the butterfly, for as many years as I can remember. I had my yard certified as a Natural Habitat, through the National Wildlife Foundation. To have a natural habitat you need to provide and meet certain requirements: 1. Provide a food source, 2. Provide a water source, 3. Cover, 4. A place to raise young. I try not to use any pesticides in my yard. I vermicompost and recycle as many of my food scraps as possible. If I had more land I would have a huge compost bin to recycle all my yard cuttings. Basically, I try to lessen my carbon footprint on this earth. In my own little world or backyard I try to provide an ecosystem in my water garden, provide birdbaths, birdfeeders, hummingbird nectar sources, feeders, puddling areas, host plants and nectar plants for butterflies and other pollinators. I am hoping to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of saving our Butterflies, Blooms & Bees. Without them our world and food source will be in trouble. I hope you all enjoy my journey. I am not a Master Gardener, or Master Beekeeper, an Entomologist, or Journalists. I am simply a Backyard Gardener who is trying to lessen her Carbon Footprint of this Earth.

I hope you enjoy my blogs.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May is Garden for Wildlife Month

Did you know that May is Garden for Wildlife Month?  You can create a habitat for wildlife right in your own backyard very easily by providing some simple basic elements of habitat like:  food, water, cover and a place to raise their young.  I started providing these elements many years ago.  Some of the things that I provide in my yard are birdfeeders, scattered throughout the yard, a water garden, bird baths, and hummingbird feeders.  I make sure that my yard has a variety of different habitats, for example; there are areas with more shelter in the bougainvillea, and Ligustrum trees.  These areas with more dense shrubbery provide the animals an area to protect themselves from the elements and protect themselves from predators.  I also provide a variety of native plants that are host and nectar plants for many of our pollinators.  Many of these native plants provide food with berries for the birds and squirrels.  I provide a nesting box for our solitary bees and even have a bat house up for our Florida Native Bats.  I don’t think I have any bats, but I am hoping that they will find the house.  I have had it up for some time now.  From what I have read it could take over a year for the bats to find it. 
One of the most important things you can provide for your wildlife is a pesticide free environment. It is important to evaluate your garden practices.  If you are using inorganic fertilizer and spraying pesticides in your garden, you are decreasing your chances of attracting wildlife in your garden.   Native plants are the best choices for your garden. They are more drought tolerant and usually are not as susceptible to pests, so the use of pesticides may be unnecessary.  I know that I always have to pull weeds by hand to keep them under control.  I am not really sure I ever have them under control, but the benefits of having a garden full of butterflies, birds, and bees is so rewarding.   

During the month of May the National Wildlife Foundation will plant a tree in your name if you get your yard certified as a natural habitat.  They also provide you with a lovely sign that you can display in your garden.  I have never displayed my sign.  I should!  The greatest reward is seeing how many butterflies, birds, and bees you will attract to your garden.  You also get to enjoy the beauty of all those blooms.  Happy May Garden for Wildlife Month!

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