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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Solutions For Green We also publish California Green Solutions and a series of blogs about healthy living solutions.

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Backyard Wildlife Habitat Challenge

VISION

Joy. The energy behind every creative project is the joy of discovery, of creativity and of sharing your joy with others. The "Backyard Wildlife Habitat Challenge" being shared through our newsletter, "Backyard Nature Notes" is all about experiencing the joy of nature right in your own home.

So let's get started by making a good, solid...fun... plan! The first step is to define what will make this an enjoyable adventure just for YOU.

  • What's my passion?

  • What's possible?

  • What's my reality?

Passion

What gives you the most satisfaction -- flowers or toads?

Morning visitors or nighttime secret visitors?

Low maintenance or practically living in your yard?

Sort out what specific joys you want to include and attract with your backyard habitat.

Possibilities

Habitat is a very LOCAL thing. And even in one yard there can be patches of very unusual landforms...a patch of soppy wet soil... or sandy desert...or rocky stream bed -- or other equally odd, but intriguing, combinations.

The basis of good planning is to know where you are starting; what your goal is -- and what resources are truly available for your use.

Reality

Your habitat plan can be a wonderful adventure of discovery, choices and new friends -- human and otherwise. Even when you ask for advice from experts in landscaping and wildllife management you may discover that the real experts on your yard are the inhabitants of your backyard paradise. Both plants and animals. So it's best to "market test" your plans before making big changes.

How do we do that?

It is helpful to live with new plants for a while...moving them around the yard to find the best place to put them. Moving a pot is much easier than digging up the plants and transplanting them. And the same holds with bird feeders or nestboxes. It's best to move them around until the birds tell you they like the location!

Let's make a mythical plan that includes some "odd patches" of ground so we touch on ideas that might appeal to many of you. I'll update this plan on my website as our "Mythical Paradise" progresses. Your ideas, tips and feedback will hellp us flesh out this wonderland...and provide ideas for YOUR project.


Email: carolyn@backyardnature.com

Web: BackyardNature.com "HABITAT" Section, the article titled: "Mythical Paradise".


The first step is a "Map" of the project area. The next step will be a "Local Natural History" of the neighborhood.

THE MAP

Map ONE
The KEY:

  1. Second Story Balcony
  2. Small Garden Patio
  3. Urban Lawn of grass with flower beds and shrubs
  4. Steep Grade of rocky soil and small boulders
  5. Seasonal Runoff Stream
  6. Woodland Transition from mature trees to open glade
  7. Swampy Bog of poorly draining soil
  8. Garden Plot with mixed soil: (well to poor drainage)
  9. Border Flower Bed along a fence

ACTIVITY

Draw a map of your Habitat project area and identify all the landforms and soil characteristics. Fax or email it to me for reference if you wish. Seeing your map will help with sharing resources and tips. (Fax: (310)558-3589, Email: Attach it as a GIF or JPG file.)

For more articles about WILDLIFE GARDENING

Garden Decor: Aquascaping for Beauty and Purpose
Butterfly & Caterpillar Gardening and the Environment
Water Gardening is the New Frontier
Rocky Sloped for Habitat
Mailorder Gardening for Wildlife Friendly seeds and plants
Butterflies are Flowers of the Air