My Secret Garden

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Attracting Beneficials

As I've mentioned, I try to adhere to sustainable gardening practices.  In doing so I attempt to attract birds and beneficial insects to my garden.  This allows me to minimize my use of even organic insecticides.

My favorite pollinators are Butterflies.  So I plant flowers to attract them.  I've found they really like Zinnias, which is good because I do too!
This year  I'm hoping to create a butterfly and hummingbird garden. Very similar to this one I found on Kids Gardening. I will add some marigolds, zinnias and cosmos to this, using a butterfly seed mix.

I also like to attract bees.

 And finally just by luck I got a praying mantis last year!

I attract birds quite easily by providing them food. Year round I stock my bird feeders and keep them full, during the growing season I provide them with a fresh supply of water and often unintentionally seeds that I have sown. Last year the crows kept stealing my bean and corn seeds before they could germinate.  I finally solved that problem by making a tent from a short tomato cage and a piece of burlap.  I do love the birds though, so we will make things work.  I watched a pair of Eastern Goldfinches pretty much all summer last year, and a pair of brown doves and a few blue jays. We also had some very interesting birds we were not able to identify nor catch on camera.

And my final regular visitor is not very beneficial to the garden, but she always elevates the mood of the gardener...
Sophie a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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