Summer Learning Track: Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat | Richland Library Skip to content
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Photo taken at Riverbanks Botanical Gardens.

Summer Learning Track: Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat

You can provide a backyard wildlife habitat even if you don't have a backyard. If you have an apartment balcony or a large piece of land, you can create a garden that attracts wildlife. Also, by planting native flowers, shrubs and trees you can provide food, cover and a place for wildlife to raise their young; and supplying clean water sources aids wildlife in drinking, bathing, and reproduction. By doing these things you not only help wildlife, but you may also qualify to become an official Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. (Source: National Wildlife Federation)

If you'd like to spend your summer learning about how to create a backyard wildlife habitat check out the resources below and attend some of the suggested programs to earn your way to a Summer Learning Challenge prize.

Native Plants

  • 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants: for American Gardens in Temperate Zones, by Lorraine Johnson
  • Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens: A Handbook for Gardeners, Homeowners, and Professionals, by Gil Nelson
  • Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants, by Douglas W. Tallamy
  • Native Plants of the Southeast: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 460 Species for the Garden, by Larry Mellichamp
  • Habitats and Havens for Wildlife

  • Attracting Birds & Butterflies: How to Plan and Plant a Backyard Habitat, by Barbara W. Ellis
  • Creating Small Habitats for Wildlife in Your Garden, by Josie Briggs
  • My Backyard Jungle: The Adventures of an Urban Wildlife Lover Who Turned His Yard into Habitat and Learned To Live With It, by James Barilla
  • The National Wildlife Federation's Guide to Gardening for Wildlife: How to Create a Beautiful Backyard Habitat for Birds, Butterflies, and Other Wildlife, by Craig Tufts
  • The Naturescaping Workbook: A Step-By-Step Guide for Bringing Nature to Your Backyard, by Beth O'Donnell Young
  • Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden: Creating Backyard and Balcony Habitats for Wildlife, by Catherine J. Johnson
  • Wildlife at Your Back Door: How to Create a Haven for Nature’s Friends, by Sharon Amos
  • Birds, Bees, Butterflies and Other Wildlife

  • Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife, by David Mizejewski
  • Attracting Butterlies & Hummingbirds to Your Backyard: Watch Your Garden Come Alive with Beauty on the Wing, by Sally Roth
  • Attracting Native Pollinators Protecting North America's Bees and Butterflies: The Xerces Society Guide
  • Audubon Birdhouse Book: Building, Placing, and Maintaining Great Homes for Great Birds, by Margaret A. Barker
  • Bird-By-Bird Gardening: The Ultimate Guide to Bringing in Your Favorite Birds – Year After Year, by Sally Roth
  • Bird, Bee & Bug Houses: Simple Projects for Your Gardens, by Derek Jones
  • Bird Gardens
  • Bird Homes and Habitats, by Bill Thompson
  • Butterfly Gardener's Guide
  • Butterly Gardens: Luring Nature's Loveliest Pollinators to Your Yard
  • Creating a Hummingbird Garden: A Guide to Attracting and Identifying Hummingbird Visitors, by Marcus Schneck
  • Garden Plants for Honey Bees, by Peter Lindtner
  • Garden Secrets for Attracting Birds: A Bird-by-Bird Guide to Favored Plants, by Rachel Lanicci
  • Gardens for Birds: Hummingbirds and Butterflies, by Linda D. Harris
  • Jerry Baker's Backyard Birdscaping Bonanza: 1,046 Quick-and-Easy Ways to Make Your Yard and Garden Absolutely Irresistable to Birds, by Jerry Baker
  • Your Backyard Wildlife Year: How to Attract Birds, Butterflies and Other Animals Every Month of the Year, by Marcus Schneck
  • Wildlife Gardens

  • How to Create a Wildlife Garden: Complete Instructions for Designing and Planting Wildlife Habitats, with over 40 Practical Projects, a Directory of 70 Wildlife Species and 800 Photographs, by Christine Lavelle
  • The Nature Friendly Garden: Creating a Backyard Haven for Plants, Wildlife and People, by Marlene A. Condon
  • The Wildlife Gardener’s Guide, by Janet Marinelli
  • The Wildlife Garden Specialist: The Essential Guide to Designing, Building, Planting, Developing and Maintaining a Wildlife Garden, by Alan Bridgewater
  • Wildlife-Friendly Plants: Make Your Garden a Haven for Beneficial Insects, Amphibians and Birds, by Rosemary Creeser
  • Come to these programs, they count towards your Summer Learning Challenge:

  • Attract Bees to Your Garden, 10 am, Friday, June 5, Richland Library Cooper
  • A Bird's Eye View, 11 a.m., Tuesday, June 9, Richland Library Southeast
  • Urban Wildlife, As Close as Your Backyard, 3 pm, Thursday, July 23, Ballentine Community Center (1009 State Road S-40-286, Irmo 29063)

  • Amazon Says: Offering tips and techniques for providing a gardening style that attracts wildlife, a guide lets readers match garden types to their own yards and customize the landscape for more...
    Amazon Says: Offering tips and techniques for providing a gardening style that attracts wildlife, a guide lets readers match garden types to their own yards and customize the landscape for their favorite kinds of animals, birds, and butterflies. less...
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    Amazon Says: Nature's colorful creatures will flock to the yard when you follow the guidelines set forth in this book. Attractive flowers and natural plantings will attract birds and butte more...
    Amazon Says: Nature's colorful creatures will flock to the yard when you follow the guidelines set forth in this book. Attractive flowers and natural plantings will attract birds and butterflies throughout the season. less...
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    Amazon Says: A backyard can come alive by creating an environment with plants and spaces that attract nature's most interesting and friendly creatures. Colorful butterflies, uplifting song more...
    Amazon Says: A backyard can come alive by creating an environment with plants and spaces that attract nature's most interesting and friendly creatures. Colorful butterflies, uplifting songbirds, and lively toads can enhance the personal garden space, giving pleasure to nature lovers of all ages. National Wildlife Federation's® Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife provides over a dozen step-by-step projects for families to do together, making getting back to nature easy, educational, and fun. less...
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    Amazon Says: For James Barilla and his family, the dream of transforming their Columbia, South Carolina, backyard into a haven for wildlife evoked images of kids catching grasshoppers by d more...
    Amazon Says: For James Barilla and his family, the dream of transforming their Columbia, South Carolina, backyard into a haven for wildlife evoked images of kids catching grasshoppers by day and fireflies at night, of digging up potatoes and picking strawberries. When they signed up with the National Wildlife Federation to certify their yard as a wildlife habitat, it felt like pushing back, in however small a way, against the tide of bad news about vanishing species, changing climate, dying coral reefs. Then the animals started to arrive, and Barilla soon discovered the complexities (and possible mayhem) of merging human with animal habitats. What are the limits of coexistence, he wondered?   To find out, Barilla set out across continents to explore cities where populations of bears, monkeys, marmosets, and honeybees live alongside human residents. My Backyard Jungle brings these unique stories together, making Barilla’s yard the centerpiece of a meditation on possibilities for coexistence with animals in an increasingly urban world. Not since Gerald Durrell penned My Family and Other Animals have readers encountered a naturalist with such a gift for storytelling and such an open heart toward all things wild. less...
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    Bird Homes and Habitats by Bill Thompson III
    Amazon Says: Two of the best-known names in birding—Peterson and Bird Watcher’s Digest—team up to provide reliable, expert advice on how to attract the birds you want into your yard. more...
    Amazon Says: Two of the best-known names in birding—Peterson and Bird Watcher’s Digest—team up to provide reliable, expert advice on how to attract the birds you want into your yard. Which birds use nest boxes? What’s required to maintain a birdhouse? What kind of habitat will attract which birds? What does it take to be a bluebird trail operator? What does it mean if baby birds or eggs disappear from their nest? Bill Thompson III answers all of these questions and more, helping readers to create yards and gardens where birds will make their homes and raise their young. It’s easy enough to hang a birdfeeder. But there are plenty of other things that can attract birds to a landscape—and, in fact, birds need four essentials: food, water, shelter, and a place to nest. The more of these elements a yard has, the more attractive it is to birds. A lavishly illustrated chapter provides ideas and inspiration for creating bird havens by profiling “Birdy Backyard All-Stars,” fifteen homeowners from around the country who have actively worked to create bird-friendly habitats. less...
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    Amazon Says: Offers projects for each month of the year to create a garden that attracts wildlife, and includes a guide to more than one hundred of the best plants for wildlife more...
    Amazon Says: Offers projects for each month of the year to create a garden that attracts wildlife, and includes a guide to more than one hundred of the best plants for wildlife less...
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    Amazon Says: “Josie Briggs has written a book to help people create and maintain their own wetlands, woodlands, rocklands, and other natural habitats. Stunning photography, illustrations more...
    Amazon Says: “Josie Briggs has written a book to help people create and maintain their own wetlands, woodlands, rocklands, and other natural habitats. Stunning photography, illustrations, and hardworking plant lists provide you with the inspiration and knowledge you need to carve out your own piece of wilderness.”—Better Homes & Gardens. less...
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    Amazon Says: A practical and inspiring guide. Wildlife gardening books have traditionally focused on large gardens in rural areas where there is ample space to plant large trees and hedg more...
    Amazon Says: A practical and inspiring guide. Wildlife gardening books have traditionally focused on large gardens in rural areas where there is ample space to plant large trees and hedges. For many new gardeners or those living in urban areas, working with a small space presents a variety of challenges when trying to attract beneficial wildlife. Wildlife-Friendly Plants is a practical guide specifically designed to help gardeners chose the best plants for encouraging and supporting wildlife. By attracting beneficial wildlife, gardeners can eliminate the use of a range of chemicals and create a healthier environment. This book is intended for any size garden from large to small in the city or country. Wildlife-Friendly Plants includes: Beautifully photographed directory of wildlife friendly plants Helpful step-by-step projects for planting, pruning and dividing Extended backflap with a guide to the symbols used throughout the book. Many of these plants are perfect for use in small spaces, such as a patio, terrace or window box. With the valuable suggestions for use, planting and maintenance, anyone can create a safe haven for beneficial insects, amphibians and birds. Wildlife-Friendly Plants is the ideal book for gardening and wildlife enthusiasts everywhere. less...
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    Amazon Says: Butterflies, birds, and other helpful wild creatures create an ecological balance in any yard, as demonstrated in a guide to creating the kind of garden that welcomes benefici more...
    Amazon Says: Butterflies, birds, and other helpful wild creatures create an ecological balance in any yard, as demonstrated in a guide to creating the kind of garden that welcomes beneficial and desirable species of wildlife while controlling damaging and harmful species. less...
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    Amazon Says: "Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden" is a backyard ecologist's handbook for helping wildlife thrive in the backyard or on the balcony. The book takes readers through the plannin more...
    Amazon Says: "Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden" is a backyard ecologist's handbook for helping wildlife thrive in the backyard or on the balcony. The book takes readers through the planning, design, and realization stages of creating wildlife habitats, using ecologically sound gardening and landscaping techniques, and 46 projects for housing and feeding birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. "Welcoming Wildlife to the Garden" teaches readers not only how to enhnace their garden but also how to encourage the survival of many native plant and animal species in North America, creating important pathways for wildlife, one garden at a time. The layperson will find the writing style and content entirely approachable, and there are loads of photographs, ilustrations, diagrams and sidebars to make the abundance of information easily digestible. less...
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    Amazon Says: Most gardeners view themselves as nature lovers, with one of the most enjoyable aspects of creating and maintaining a garden lying in the feeling of closeness to nature. It of more...
    Amazon Says: Most gardeners view themselves as nature lovers, with one of the most enjoyable aspects of creating and maintaining a garden lying in the feeling of closeness to nature. It often comes as a surprise to many, however, that their garden is an essential home. less...
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    Amazon Says: If you can own only one book on attracting wildlife to your garden, this is it. Unlike other volumes, which offer only generalities like “reduce the size of your lawn,” thi more...
    Amazon Says: If you can own only one book on attracting wildlife to your garden, this is it. Unlike other volumes, which offer only generalities like “reduce the size of your lawn,” this concise manual provides ten specific projects and countless tips for transforming your garden into a refuge. Inside you’ll find helpful information on the best natural bird foods and feeders, lists of plants with proven wildlife appeal in your region, easy-to-read garden plans, and more. Best of all, these sustainable, organic ideas can work in many types of outdoor spaces—window boxes, terraces, small city backyards, and large suburban yards. In short, there’s everything necessary for creating a garden that wows birds, butterflies, appealing critters…and humans too. less...
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    Amazon Says: One of the special joys of having outdoor space is the wildlife it attracts—and this Specialist volume helps gardeners turn their little plot of land into an animal-friendly more...
    Amazon Says: One of the special joys of having outdoor space is the wildlife it attracts—and this Specialist volume helps gardeners turn their little plot of land into an animal-friendly haven. Concise and easy to use, It gives expert advice on planning and planting to create an ideal environment for birds, butterflies, reptiles, and mammals—a place where these wild creatures will find everything they need to survive and thrive. There’s pond-building guidance, instructions for assembling and siting nesting boxes and feeders, ideas for both town and country gardens, and advice on making the area pet- and child-safe.    less...
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    Amazon Says: Garden Plants for Honey Bees by Peter Lindtner is the culmination of a lifetime of photography, beekeeping, and horticulture. With each plant accompanied by a simple pollen an more...
    Amazon Says: Garden Plants for Honey Bees by Peter Lindtner is the culmination of a lifetime of photography, beekeeping, and horticulture. With each plant accompanied by a simple pollen and nectar production rating guide derived from his careful observations, this photo-rich guide can help you identify your most bee-friendly plants, add more to your landscaping and even plot a season-long supply of bee-preferred nectar and pollen producers in your own backyard. It contains over 750 distinct photos and scanning electron micrographs of pollen grains. Suitable for the coffee table, this 398 page, 6 inch by 9 inch resource guide will also serve as a field handbook for both disciplines. Combining beauty and function, bee health and biodiversity come together in this colorful new hardcover from Wicwas Press! less...
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    Amazon Says: Turn your garden into a glorious haven for hummingbirds. Here are the basics on planning, planting, and maintaining a beautiful outdoor space that will lure these tiny creatur more...
    Amazon Says: Turn your garden into a glorious haven for hummingbirds. Here are the basics on planning, planting, and maintaining a beautiful outdoor space that will lure these tiny creatures and give you hours of gardening pleasure. This charmingly illustrated volume provides a variety of garden plans, including essential information on hardiness zones, soil conditions, and sun and shade preferences, and is packed with facts on the lives and habits of hummingbirds. When your winged guests linger in your garden, you'll delight in consulting the hummingbird identifier in Creating a Hummingbird Garden. Here is everything you need to know to attract hummingbirds, from their favorite flowers to instructions for making hummingbird feeders. less...
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    Amazon Says: Explains how to design and maintain a landscape that attracts and sustains hummingbirds and butterflies, focusing on designing, planting, and caring for the garden. more...
    Amazon Says: Explains how to design and maintain a landscape that attracts and sustains hummingbirds and butterflies, focusing on designing, planting, and caring for the garden. less...
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    Amazon Says: The author of The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible shows readers how to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the backyard feeder by creating an ideal backyard habitat and provi more...
    Amazon Says: The author of The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible shows readers how to attract butterflies and hummingbirds to the backyard feeder by creating an ideal backyard habitat and provides a field guide to the sixteen hummingbird species and seventy-five of the most common butterfly species that make North America their home. 15,000 first printing. less...
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    Bird Gardens by Better Homes and Gardens Books
    Amazon Says: People enjoy welcoming birds to their gardens. This book blends inspiration and implementation to demonstrate how to use plants to attract and accommodate birds.All the inf more...
    Amazon Says: People enjoy welcoming birds to their gardens. This book blends inspiration and implementation to demonstrate how to use plants to attract and accommodate birds.All the information for proper planning:Landscape design strategiesPlants that attract birdsAlluring water featuresUnique suggestions for bird comfort:Feeding stationsWatering nooksRoosting pocketsHousing projectsIt’s the handbook for bird gardening:Garden typesPlanting schemesBird preferencesSeasonal advice less...
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    Amazon Says: Bird lovers learn what specific bird families like best and how to entice their favorites to the backyard in this newest guide from the author of The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bi more...
    Amazon Says: Bird lovers learn what specific bird families like best and how to entice their favorites to the backyard in this newest guide from the author of The Backyard Bird Feeder's Bible. What should a birder do if he likes bluebirds and wrens but is not all that interested in woodpeckers and starlings? Bird-by-Bird Gardening takes the chance and happenstance out of backyard birding. Readers learn what design features and edible treats will tempt particular bird families so their birdbaths and feeders will be overflowing with visitors of their choice. Bird-by-Bird Gardening Shows readers how to lure their preferred species with bird-friendly features such as water, shrub cover, nesting plants, and feedersIncludes 19 garden designs for attracting specific bird familiesProvides water projects and feeder recipes for each bird familyWith this book to guide them, bird lovers will soon have their favorite birds lingering longer in the backyard―and revisiting year after year. less...
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    Amazon Says: Create an enjoyable bird habitat at home by planting a garden that birds find irresistible, using this thorough guide to growing plants that birds love, making recipes for t more...
    Amazon Says: Create an enjoyable bird habitat at home by planting a garden that birds find irresistible, using this thorough guide to growing plants that birds love, making recipes for treats birds crave, and building the best backyard bird shelters. From beautiful Baltimore orioles and vibrant scarlet tanagers to cheerful black-capped chickadees and elegant cedar waxwings, birders will learn how to attract birds to a garden sanctuary with these proven techniques, including planting the best berry-producing plants, which flowers birds can’t resist, which trees birds prefer to call home, tips and tricks to growing the best fruits for birds, which vines are best for birds, and how to grow plants that produce the best seeds for birds. Additional features include “Grandma Putt’s Time-Tested Tips,” “Elementary, My Dear” (with answers to the toughest birdscaping questions), “Perfect Planting” (garden designs), and “Quick-n-Easy Projects.” less...
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    Amazon Says: Learn how to turn your yard and garden into a mecca for beautiful, colorful birds! Guide to trees, shrubs, and plants that attract birds, with color photos, growing guides, a more...
    Amazon Says: Learn how to turn your yard and garden into a mecca for beautiful, colorful birds! Guide to trees, shrubs, and plants that attract birds, with color photos, growing guides, available varieties, and which birds each plant will attract Seed mixes, treats, and feeders to offer to attract your favorite birds Birdhouses, baths, fountains, and ponds that attract birds, plus tips on placement and installation Guide to favorite backyard birds from the Blue Jay to the Purple Martin, with photos, location guides, and the best trees & plants to attract each species Why attract birds to your yard? Their stunning natural beauty, the sweet melody of birdsong, their fascinating behaviors, and their ability to help control insects are just a few of the reasons to welcome these winged creatures to your outdoor space. Garden Secrets for Attracting Birds will show you how to turn your yard and garden into a haven for birds. You'll find ideas to help you choose the right combination of plants, shrubs, and trees for your favorite birds, select the seed mixes and other treats each species finds irresistible, and learn which types of bird feeders and shelters are preferred by hummingbirds, orioles, finches, swallows, and many other gorgeous backyard birds. The book details the habits and tendencies of many popular North American birds and shows the plants and trees that attract specific species. You'll find a combination of photography and beautifully rendered color illustrations depicting each type of bird alongside interesting facts, maps of their seasonal locations, and useful information about their behavior. A fleeting glimpse of a single bird can bring even the most ordinary landscape to life. Even in the most urban settings, seemingly devoid of so much as a single bough, you can attract and cater to visiting birds with the proper care and planning. Your yard or garden needn't be enormous—it only needs to offer the things birds need and love! less...
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    Amazon Says: Transform any garden into a wildlife haven by creating perfect nesting places for birds, bats, bees, butterflies, lacewings, and ladybugs. All that's needed are a few basic wo more...
    Amazon Says: Transform any garden into a wildlife haven by creating perfect nesting places for birds, bats, bees, butterflies, lacewings, and ladybugs. All that's needed are a few basic woodworking techniques, tools, and materials (some recycled or scavenged) to complete these 18 projects. Every project comes with an exploded diagram and cutting list, and there's information on choosing locations, maintenance, species habits, and nesting requirements.  less...
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    Amazon Says: Butterflies are some of nature’s loveliest and most intriguing pollinators. In this handbook, explore the detailed, practical information offered on dozen of butterflies—al more...
    Amazon Says: Butterflies are some of nature’s loveliest and most intriguing pollinators. In this handbook, explore the detailed, practical information offered on dozen of butterflies—all spectacularly illustrated in color—as well as a comprehensive encyclopedia of nectar plants for the garden. less...
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    Amazon Says: Transform any garden into a haven for beautiful butterflies! Renowned butterfly specialists--scientists, nature writers and artists, directors of biological preserves--reveal more...
    Amazon Says: Transform any garden into a haven for beautiful butterflies! Renowned butterfly specialists--scientists, nature writers and artists, directors of biological preserves--reveal the secrets of attracting and caring for these delicate creatures. With more than 80 beautiful photographs, this inspiring manual focuses on the amazing lifecycle of butterflies, especially emphasizing caterpillars and their food plants. Regional experts from every region from north to south and coast to coast, describe their own gardens and the native flora that butterflies love. Profiles cover specialty gardens, including herb gardens, children's gardens, and a wildflower meadow. Information on butterfly biology, family classification, migration, and conservation make this a valuable complement to butterfly guidebooks as well as a great gardening guide on its own. less...
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    Amazon Says: Using native plants in a garden has many benefits. They attract beneficial wildlife and insects, they allow a gardener to create a garden that reflects the native beauty of th more...
    Amazon Says: Using native plants in a garden has many benefits. They attract beneficial wildlife and insects, they allow a gardener to create a garden that reflects the native beauty of the region, and they make a garden more sustainable. Because of all this, they are an increasingly popular plant choice for home and public gardens.Native Plants of the Southeast shows you how to choose the best native plants and how to use them in the garden. This complete guide is an invaluable resource, with plant profiles for over 460 species of trees, shrubs, vines, ferns, grasses, and wildflowers. Each plant description includes information about cultivation and propagation, ranges, and hardiness. Comprehensive lists recommend particular plants for difficult situations, as well as plants for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds, and other wildlife.   less...
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    Amazon Says: Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens: A Handbook for Gardeners, Homeowners, and Professionals more...
    Amazon Says: Best Native Plants for Southern Gardens: A Handbook for Gardeners, Homeowners, and Professionals less...
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    Amazon Says: As we see exotic plants becoming "invasive exotics," gardeners are seeking native plants for their gardens. Plants that withstand regional conditions and weather patterns del more...
    Amazon Says: As we see exotic plants becoming "invasive exotics," gardeners are seeking native plants for their gardens. Plants that withstand regional conditions and weather patterns deliver a hardier garden and require less maintenance. A pioneering book when first published in 1999, this revised edition is a classic reference that meets the requirements of a changing, tougher landscape. Lorraine Johnson provides a fail-safe guide to beautiful low-maintenance plants native to many regions of the United States. The features include: Handy profiles of each native plant Maintenance requirements Creative suggestions for plant pairings Propagation and cultivation tips Index of plants by botanical name Ethical guidelines for gardeners Updated list of sources. Especially useful are the quick-reference charts that show plants grouped by region, habitat and conditions, for example plants that tolerate dry soil in shade and plants that attract butterflies. A color photograph of each plant makes it easy to compare options and choose the right plant. less...
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    Amazon Says: With the recent decline of the European honey bee, it is more important than ever to encourage the activity of other native pollinators to keep your flowers beautiful and your more...
    Amazon Says: With the recent decline of the European honey bee, it is more important than ever to encourage the activity of other native pollinators to keep your flowers beautiful and your grains and produce plentiful. In Attracting Native Pollinators, you’ll find ideas for building nesting structures and creating a welcoming habitat for an array of diverse pollinators that includes not only bees, but butterflies, moths, and more. Take action and protect North America’s food supply for the future, while at the same time enjoying a happily bustling landscape. less...
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    Amazon Says: A visit to almost any home or garden center presents birders with numerous cute and colorful contraptions that are sold as bird homes. But the fact is, many of these products more...
    Amazon Says: A visit to almost any home or garden center presents birders with numerous cute and colorful contraptions that are sold as bird homes. But the fact is, many of these products provide anything but a safe refuge for your feathered friends. Produced in association with the National Audubon Society, Audubon Birdhouse Book explains how to build and place functional DIY bird homes that are safe and appropriate for more than 20 classic North American species, from wrens to raptors. Each of the easy-to-build boxes and shelves within is accompanied by cut lists, specially created line diagrams, and step-by-step photography, making the projects accessible to those with even the most rudimentary woodworking skills. In addition, this practical and beautifully presented guide is packed with color photography and information about the bird species covered—including titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, phoebes, swallows, waterfowl, and even kestrels and owls—to help the reader properly place and maintain the homes to attract birds. And because these projects are the product of years of experience and field-testing, you can be sure you’re getting the best advice regarding proper design, safe construction materials, and correct home placement to mitigate exposure to elements, pests, and predators. Finally, beyond the birdhouses, you’ll find out how you can contribute to the larger birding community and even enhance your birding experience with the aid of new technologies. less...
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    Amazon Says: Much of modern garden design is about controlling nature to achieve a desired effect. But for the eco-conscious homeowner, the best garden designer is Mother Nature, and follo more...
    Amazon Says: Much of modern garden design is about controlling nature to achieve a desired effect. But for the eco-conscious homeowner, the best garden designer is Mother Nature, and following her lead can result in a beautiful low-maintenance landscape that requires fewer resources, attracts natural wildlife, and saves time and money. In The Naturescaping Workbook, author Beth O'Donnell Young sets forth an easy-to-follow, do-it-yourself plan for gardeners of all skill levels. Her step-by-step approach teaches gardeners to understand their own natural habitat and to nurture the native eco-systems that exist in their yard. And the payoff is huge. By simply becoming aware of the natural wonders in the backyard, anyone can gain a more beautiful garden and take a big step toward bringing nature home. less...
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    Amazon Says: How to maintain environmental balance and attract wildlifeApplies to all backyard gardens, large and small with specific information on creating ponds and other water features more...
    Amazon Says: How to maintain environmental balance and attract wildlifeApplies to all backyard gardens, large and small with specific information on creating ponds and other water featuresAccessible gardening tips for seniors and people with disabilitiesMany people approach gardening as a constant struggle with the outside world. They're perpetually at war with nature, investing in weed killers and fighting off deer and birds, all in an effort to preserve their garden as a pristine patch of earth. Marlene A. Condon proposes a radically different method: What if, instead of battling the natural world, we invite it into our backyards? The result is the nature-friendly garden, which attracts and meets the needs of common creatures--rabbits, toads, insects, squirrels, owls, and so on--while maintaining a thriving, varied landscape of flowers and plants. And as this thought-provoking guide demonstrates, coexisting with nature doesn't mean turning your yard into a bramble-infested wilderness. The sustainable, low-impact garden described in these pages is a model of environmental balance, fostering species diversity while keeping wildlife damage and invasive plant growth at an acceptable minimum. Best of all, it offers a privileged look at the workings of nature, and its advice on observing wildlife is sure to open up a new and fascinating world for even the most experienced gardener. less...
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    Amazon Says: “If you cut down the goldenrod, the wild black cherry, the milkweed and other natives, you eliminate the larvae, and starve the birds. This simple revelation about the fo more...
    Amazon Says: “If you cut down the goldenrod, the wild black cherry, the milkweed and other natives, you eliminate the larvae, and starve the birds. This simple revelation about the food web—and it is an intricate web, not a chain—is the driving force in Bringing Nature Home.” —The New York Times As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction.Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition—with an expanded resource section and updated photos—will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference. less...
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