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Butterfly Habitat Rain Gardens Are Combinations for Learning and Global Improvement

June 7th, 2021

In the age of social media and keywords turned catch phrase, those of us who garden and those who hope to garden and those who are only mildly garden curious to hear or read about a lot of gardens. There are Zen gardens, tranquility gardens, lasagna gardens, pizza gardens, native habitat gardens, memory gardens, rain gardens, and butterfly gardens, just to name a few. In any given region and climate, though, there is tremendous possibility for combining the roles of more than one garden. Three of the easiest gardens to combine are butterfly, habitat, and rain gardens. And making such a combination is easy enough that kids quite often do it by nature as they love to choose bold blooms, bright colors, interesting textures, and plants representing history and culture.

The purpose of each of these gardens might seem obvious enough from the name, but understanding the role each plays in your community, state, even the world provides a context for both children and adults. Using the opportunity to educate through gardens, every green enthusiast stands to make global improvements. Let’s call it the Butterfly Garden Effect that every positive motion, even the tiniest swoop of a fluttering wing, contributes to the evolution of a better world for all of us, from the most sentient creatures on the planet to the tiniest contributors.

The Role of Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly gardens contribute three very basic benefits:

*support for local and migrating butterflies

*beautification for communities

*attraction for a broad range of pollinators and other wildlife

Wherever butterflies flutter by, expect to find a wide range of other pollinators, beneficial insects, and birds. It’s the circle of life, as they say, that makes butterfly gardens so crucial to ecosystems. Attracted to color, flavor, fragrance, and texture in your garden, butterflies flit from bloom to bloom, pollinating your garden as they do. Vivid and eye-catching they, in turn, attract a wide variety of prey that belong in your garden, too. Every garden that attracts butterflies benefits from their careful grooming of blooms and the role they play in attracting others who tend, pollinate, fertilize, and de-bug the garden.

The Role of Habitat Gardens

By nature of the fact that they attract a wide variety of wildlife, butterfly gardens easily double as habitat gardens whenever shrubs and/or trees are incorporated into the design. Essentially, habitat gardens are homes for various insects and animals. Habitat gardens provide:

*shelter

*food

*water

*protection

*solace

to various creatures, including humans who cultivate them as places of rest and tranquility.

The Role of Rain Gardens

True to name, rain gardens take advantage of storm runoff to irrigate gardens, but there is a lot more going on beneath the surface. Designed to take advantage of rainwater runoff, rain gardens also:

* direct water to low spots

*slow water to negate the possibility of erosion

*percolate runoff to promote filtering/cleaning of polluted water

*assist in drainage to minimize standing water zones

*guide filtered water to bodies such as streams, creeks, rivers, lakes and ponds, and even seas and oceans

To ensure the success and longevity of such your rain garden, incorporate native and noninvasive plants that are up to the task of handling the microclimate forming there. Rain gardens present two main extremes in irrigation: deep wet and extreme dry, from time to time. Native plants that are tolerant of both wet and dry conditions are your best bet. Choosing plants of various root structures, too, will help the garden to do its best filtration work, too. Among the underground portions that help filter minerals, debris, particulate matter, and pollutants are:

* shallow, webby roots that filter tiniest particles

* bulbs, rhizomes, and cormers (combinations) that hinder larger matter passage

* deep, even tap, roots, that channel runoff to deeper soils and layers

Combining Roles for Your Own Butterfly Habitat Rain Garden

Cultivating a garden that achieves all three purposes is as easy as selecting plants that serve the purpose of each garden style whenever possible. Native plants that provide blooms for adult butterflies and/or act as hosts for their caterpillar offspring may be blended with shrubs and trees that provide shelter for the other wildlife who will come to admire and consume the butterflies. In many cases, shrubs and trees may act as nectar suppliers and/or hosts for butterfly populations as well. Among the native shrubs and trees you might choose for your butterfly habitat rain garden are:

* spicebush shrubs

* butterfly bushes

* chokeberry

* serviceberry bushes

* redbud trees

Each of these shrub and trees offers much to any garden as they are fragrant, beautiful, and excellent hosts for a variety of animals and bugs. Use these as focal points or boundaries to control entry and exit from your garden.

Layering these core contributors with a wide variety of blooming plants and attractive sedges/grasses will create a zone of comfort and peace for insects, animals, and humans alike. So long as the plants you choose are tolerant of the water sure to come through your garden and the dry conditions that occur once runoff has been directed away, the plant combinations are endless.

Valuable Tips for Creating Beautiful Garden Landscapes

April 7th, 2021

When you bring a new plant from a nursery to plant in your garden you become a designer who designs the garden landscape that you have. If you want to be a great designer, you need to be aware of certain aspects so that you can have the best landscape.

You may have noticed that some gardens have an organized look while others, having the finest plant collection, look haphazard. The basic reason for this is because the owner or the landscape designer has not planned the future of the garden properly. The following tips will help you to have among the best garden landscapes that can be had.

The following good tips will help you to have a garden which will stand out from other gardens and will also keep you from the headache of knowing what to do.

Plan the garden properly

The landscape of the garden must be planned in such a manner that it looks beautiful now while also having the future in mind. You will find it is best to plant your precious collection of plants in such a manner that there is enough space when in future you require a mower, or the stump grinder, to enter for building projects for your porch or the patio..

If this planning is not done now, then in future you may have to throw away your precious plants in order to have space for allowing movement of such equipment.

Have a focal point

The focal point of your garden must be such that it attracts people and engages their attention when roaming in your garden. It should be different than others but not out-of-place. You can have an antique garden bench as the focal point but don’t use an object which is not related to the garden. A water body or an oak tree can be a great focal point which will give the garden landscape a new dimension.

Curves must be checked

It is good to have curved pathways or flower beds in a garden, but you must not overdo them. It must be kept simple so that the geometric design that you have incorporated in the landscaping stands out. If you use those shapes too often it will become common and no one will notice them.

Have movement in the garden

A garden landscape that does not have movement is like a painting. Paintings are good on the walls but in a garden, you must have movement so that you can bring life and create interest in your garden.

You may be wondering how to have movement. It is quite easy to have such movement in your garden by adding swaying ornamental grass or flowers which attract birds and butterflies and this will help to have the desired movement in your garden.

Highlight your house

The landscaping design that you have in your garden must match with the house that you have. If you have a house that does not have much architectural designs, then you can benefit by having the edges softened by the garden that you have.

You must keep in mind while matching your garden with the house is that you must not overdo it. It must not be such that your house is completely hidden by the garden trees that you have. The best of garden landscaping is that which will help to highlight the smallest of architectural features that your house has.

Think completely differently

When you are designing the landscaping of your garden you must think completely differently from the one that you now have. For example, if you have overgrown shrubbery don’t think that you have to keep it like that. By removing it you may be astonished to find a sunny sport which can be ideal for a rose bed. So, don’t plan your landscaping according to the present situation but think differently and you will find new possibilities to have an even better landscape.

Choose plants according to locations

When you select a plant base for a particular spot in your garden, consider the growth rate and the final size it will be. If you do not base your plant selection on these considerations, then the money you spend will not lead to overall beautification but, in the end, you will have to spend more money for adjustments.

If you think that having a cheap plant which grows fast you are gaining much you are thinking wrongly. The money you will spend later for pruning and other maintenance will eat up your initial savings. So, have a purposeful selection of garden trees and place them properly.

Let the garden show the way

The design of the garden should lead visitors to your house. You don’t want visitors losing their way so the garden must show the way to the house. The curved pathway or the big pots that you place need to say, “Hi, this is the way that you need to go.”

Limited number of species

If you have a garden don’t feel pressured to have every plant species that is available. Select those species which will help you to have a garden which is easier to maintain and gives it a uniform look. Select the species according to seasons so that you can have flowers in your garden all throughout the year and also add to the biodiversity that you have in your garden.

Space plants properly

This is of utmost importance because it determines how your beloved garden will survive. Having proper spacing of plants ensures having the right air flow required for the survival of the plants and avoids having fungal insect infection. You may feel that there are vacant places in the garden. Yes, there will be and you can easily fill those spaces by the proper use, and positioning, of annuals.

Control pests in your garden

Most of all, be sure that your garden is enjoyable and free of pests. Bugs are bad enough in the summer months already. When you add plants, things quickly get worse. Having plants close to your house can be the first step to having pests trail into your home. To prevent pesky bugs from taking over your home, a pest management expert suggests that you spray for bugs, keep the grass short, and grow plants that repel bugs such as basil, lavender, mint, or rosemary. These tips will safely keep your garden pest free and enjoyable all summer long.