Thursday, June 18, 2015

Win a Wildlife Waystation!

We're giving Away a Wildlife Waystation 
Valued at $7,500!

We are so excited to be working with 2 of Better Homes & Gardens’ best magazines Easy Garden Projects and Country Gardens Magazine to give away a $7,500 Wildlife Waystation! The winner will receive $7,500 worth of native plants plus a garden design and consultation with famed author and garden designer, Scott Calhoun of Zona Gardens, all compliments of American Beauties Native Plants.

Wildlife habitat is diminishing at an alarming rate. That means that your backyard is more important than ever to the wildlife we hold so dear. Here’s
how you can create a wildlife friendly yard.

Providing Food for Wildlife
Planting native trees, shrubs and perennials will provide wildlife with their natural diet that includes; nectar, pollen, seeds, nuts and berries. Adding birdfeeders is a great way to provide supplemental nutrition.

Provide a Clean Source of Water
Just like us, wildlife needs a fresh water source to drink and to bathe in. Try to incorporate ponds, rain gardens, birdbaths and puddling areas for butterflies. Water will bring so much life to your garden!

Provide Cover and a Place to Raise their Young 
Evergreen trees provide shelter all year. Leave brush and leaf piles in a quite corner of your garden. Meadows, shrub borders, even dead trees provide cover and nesting. You can also supplement with birdhouses, bee houses, bat houses, toad houses and more.

Avoiding pesticides and herbicides is an essential part of creating wildlife waystation.

Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Peggy Anne 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vivacious Viburnum

People often ask me what my favorite plant is but, I could never pick just one. However, if I could pick a whole genus, I think it might be viburnum. They are one of America’s most popular landscape plants, with good reason. Most viburnum have at least 3-season interest, attractive foliage and growth habits. White or pink flowers in spring, some quite fragrant, and they attract butterflies looking for nectar. In late summer the fruit begins to form often with fantastic colors attracting robins, bluebirds, thrushes, catbirds, cardinals, finches, waxwings, and more. They are the ultimate bird-scaping plant.

Many have outstanding fall color too. For gardeners looking for spring bloom and fall color, viburnum is a great substitute for invasive plants like callery pear and burning bush. Viburnum have a wide distribution range in the U.S. attesting to the fact that they are quite adaptable. They generally grow well when planted in moist, rich and slightly acidic soil. Light requirements vary a bit, but again they are pretty adaptable. For best fruit set it’s advisable to plant at least 2 different cultivars. Here is a look at some of my favorites.

Lovely white flowers attract butterflies and other beneficial insects
Dark blue berries attract birds
Beautiful fall color, three season interest

Flowers attract butterflies, blue berries feed game birds, songbirds
Stunning yellow to wine-red fall color
Most soil adaptable of all Viburnums

Huge nectar source for native insects
Important food source for wildlife in the winter
Perfect screen or specimen plant

Fragrant flowers provide nectar for butterflies and other pollinators
Compact plants with multi-colored berries, relished by birds and other wildlife
Grows well in most soils

Flowers attract butterflies, berries are a great source of food for birds
Red-purple foliage contrasts with blue-black fruit in the fall
Wine-colored fall foliage

Flowers provide nectar for butterflies and other pollinators
Red-purple foliage contrasts with blue-black fruit in the fall
Berries are a great source of winter food for birds and other wildlife

Bringing Life to Your Garden!

Have fun out there, Peggy Anne

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Trees are the Backbone of Every Great Garden Design

Large trees keep us cool in the summertime

A great garden that is full of biodiversity includes, herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees. Some refer to gardens planted this way as a layered garden. They are also the most visually pleasing as they mimic the way we see plants in nature. Think of trees as the backbone of your design. They give us shade to cool the air and they shelter us from winter winds. Their flowers, fruits and fall colors give us all-season beauty. Think of trees as an investment or like building a foundation. And, try to remember when you look at the price tag of your soon-to-be new tree that someone has been caring for it daily; watering, feeding, repotting and pruning, for many years before it arrived at you favorite garden center.

We use trees, shrubs and perennials to create a natural looking garden

The right trees can also provide food and shelter for a wide variety of wildlife. Their flowers provide nectar and pollen for pollinators. Later, their fruits, nuts, berries and seeds are another important food source for wildlife. Trees are also a welcome nesting site for birds and other creatures, offering a sheltered place for them to raise their young. Consider planting evergreen trees too. They provide shelter for wildlife all year long! Native trees and their cultivars are the best choice to attract wildlife because they have evolved together. A white oak tree for example supports more than 500 kinds of butterflies and moths. While the invasive Bradford pear supports zero.

Here are a few of my favorites

Heavy nectar producer, drawing all kinds of pollinators
Insect eating birds visit the tree to feed on insects
Excellent fruit for a number of birds

A small graceful tree with fragrant flowers
Flowers attract butterflies
Mockingbirds, blue jays, pileated woodpeckers and cardinals love the fruit

Pollen and emerging leaves attract a long list of pollinators
Insect-eating migrating birds visit the tree looking for pollinating insects at work
Acorns are a major food source for a variety of wildlife

The fruits are a staple for 80 species of birds 
Including cedar waxwing named for this tree

Adapts to almost any growing condition and makes a good windbreak

Year-round beauty, flowers, berries and great fall color
Birds love the fruit and so will you!
Attracts early bees and butterflies

Many thanks to Bailey Nurseries for the images!

Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there, Peggy Anne