It is fun to watch wildlife up close without being noticed. The birds sing delightful songs, the chattering of squirrels is comical and the grace and beauty of the butterfly is awe inspiring. It is also fun to watch a cottontail race across a field. It can be fun to landscape the property to provide a safe haven for wildlife.
Wildlife will appear on the property once a favorable habitat is created. The basics to provide for a favorable habitat are food, water, cover and a safe spot to raise young. Most wildlife does well with native trees, shrubs, ground cover, vines and wildflowers and among these, shelter is created. A small pond can create a water source. Native plants are maintained well with minimal care. The native wildlife will also feel at ease with the native habitat.
Native plants thrive with the current soil, rainfall and temperature conditions. These native plants have developed a defense system to insects and disease. It is important to not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Native plants help preserve the local ecosystems. The plant selections should not be based on looks only, but practicality for the ecosystem and the wildlife that is going to be sustained.
Examples of trees include Pecan, Hickory, Oak, Persimmon and Cedar. Shrubbery can include Red Buckeye, Black Huckleberry, Sumac and Black Elder. Wildflowers include Wild Ginger, Milkweeds, Coneflower and Sunflower. Groundcover includes Partridgeberry, Wild Strawberry, Goldenseal and Fragrant Bedstraw. The trees and shrubs make wind barriers especially if they are planted together in a row.