Preparing For Tenants

This post was inspired by a very nicely complete "Determination of Needs" by Mark Johns at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. You may have noticed that I have a thing for critters. Johns has just made it easier to roll out the welcome mat.

Getting used to a new zone, new soil and new challenges (helloooooo, black walnut) has meant that not everything we've tried has been a wild success. Sometimes we've had to use non-natives because we were unable to locate native alternatives that would work in certain locations (like under the black walnut...). And even at only three years on this site, some of those have already been pulled up and moved to other places... or the curb. Others have been so successful we've been able to share!

Here's what we've done for our critters.

Hummers: Lonicera Sempervirens, monarda (didyma and fistulosa) and phlox and penstemon were all put in place the first year. Red Buckeye was also planted, but that one didn't make it. Thanks to the kindness of neighbors, bleeding heart and columbine soon followed. The second year Cardinal flower went into the rain garden for the hummers. Last year we added Autumn sage and crossvine. And it just so happens these plants are gorgeous. Lucky us!

Bluebirds: First year: winterberry holly (Having seen them in winter, I was supposed to resist these? Get outta here.), American holly (not doing so well...), inkberry, blueberries (ok, those are for us, too) and arrowwood viburnum. Second year, chokeberry. Last year, spicebush. And oh, gee--these plants are gorgeous! Lucky us!

More Bird Stuff--Fruits: Blueberries, viburnums, chokeberry, inkberry, spicebush--hmmm. Must be multiple-species benefitting here. American Beautyberry. Crabapple. Did you know that blueberry shrubs are gorgeous in fall?

Seedeaters: First year: purple coneflower, cutleaf coneflower, blazing star, joe-pye weed. Switchgrass and muhly grass. It's an awful lot of fun watching goldfinches yank seeds out of the heads of these flowers. I'm sure something else has gone in the ground in the last two years specific to our seedeaters out of the dozens of annuals and perennials that leapt into the back of the car--I'm just not sure what!

Pollinators: Stokesia, goldenrod, coneflower, chives, lamb's ear, obedient plant, marigold, rudbeckia, salvia, ninebark, sedum, vitex, sourwood, mexican hat, yarrow and dozens more.

Cover: a few more evergreen shrubs (mountain laurel, chamaecyparis, juniper)--and a brush pile. The wrens are in and out of there constantly. We've also added birdhouses and a bat house.

This year: is still in the planning stages. Sort of. There's this calendar....

And that's what we've done for our critters. So far. And did I mention all this plant stuff is gorgeous?

Happy planning and planting!
Bring on the Bats!

Bring on the Bats!

Rock Latte

Rock Latte