Many people enjoy seeing wildlife in their landscape. When considering how and why to attract more wildlife, the first thing you need to understand is which animals can help and which can cause damage. Earthworms and bees are great for helping a garden grow and insect predators (from ladybugs to bats and birds) can help keep pest populations in check. However, animals like squirrels or deer commonly cause plant damage.
Once you know the types of animals you want to see more of, think about all the things they need to survive – shelter, hiding spaces, food and water. Include a diverse mixture of native plants to meet wildlife survival needs all year long. For example, evergreens offer year-round cover for nesting sites while shrubs can provide food in the form of fruit. A clean pond or water feature is another great addition.
For birds, flowering favorites like serviceberry, dogwood and crabapple will attract many different species. Hummingbirds in particular are attracted to bright orange, red and hot pink, which makes azalea a good shrub choice.
For more pollinators, like bees, plant native wildflowers, and single flowers with one ring of petals. Herbs such as fennel and dill will attract other beneficial insects including ladybugs and lacewings. When planting, it’s important to always consider what is attractive to animals and what is good for the local ecosystem.