Creating a Wildlife Haven

Written by Garden Club member, Jan Baweja

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Are you seeing lots of birds, critters, bees, and butterflies in your gardens?

Certify your habitat during Pollinator Month

Anyone can create a welcoming haven for local wildlife. Turning your yard, balcony container garden, schoolyard, work landscape, or roadside green space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat® is fun, easy, and can make a lasting difference for wildlife. Certify this June and save 20% when you purchase any Certified Wildlife Habitat sign.

To see the requirements for garden certification as a National Wildlife refuge, visit, click on “Get Involved” and scroll down to “Certify a Garden.”  Your garden needs these 4 elements – food, water, shelter, and a place to raise young.

Garden Club Member Kathy Ramienski has this certification. Here are photos of the 4 elements in her garden and some critters who inhabit this inviting space.

Bird visitors to the garden include cardinals, robins, blue jays, chickadees, woodpeckers, goldfinches, hummingbirds.  They had a bluebird brood in the birdhouse in the maple tree before it leafed out.  Now they have a pair of wrens making a nest in another birdhouse on a pole. This is the first time they have had a bluebirds nest. Next year they plan to put a blue birdhouse on the pole, which is less obstructed. Hopefully, they will stay and have a second brood. As you can imagine, there are countless insects, spiders, and many bees. Lately, she has been seeing dragonflies.  She found 2 praying mantis egg sacs as she was cleaning out the flower beds in early spring.  There have also been quite a few toads, and one snake, see picture. As far as mammals, there are rabbits, deer, and an occasional fox.
Last year as the summer blossoming plants waned, the insect pollinators – bees, hummingbird moths, wasps- had little to feed on in the back garden. She only had one aster, and some herbs. This year more asters and goldenrods were added.  Also good for pollinators are herbs that are allowed to flower.  She has a lot of thyme, and lets half of it flower; same with oregano.  She does not let basil flowers because once it flowers, the entire plant loses its flavor.
In the front yard, there are phlox and cosmos. The lawn has lots of clovers which both the rabbits and deer like.  There is also lavender, which is not only great for pollinators, but also for humans!
Here are some interesting sources for more information on pollinators and garden habitats:
How does your garden grow?  Peonies made a good show in many gardens, along with roses and irises.  Here are some pictures from Garden Club members:

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