Page 2A Plant's Home
WindStar Wildlife Institute
as 35 per acre, but even onefamily of foxes would feelcrowded in an area that size.
One of the best ways toenhance property for wildlife isto offer as much diversity aspossible. When choosing plants,strive for a variety of heights,bloom times, food value (seeds,nuts, fruit, twigs), growthhabits (dense, open), evergreenand deciduous leaves.The more choices you offer,the more species you are likelyto attract. Getting yourneighbors interested inenhancing their properties atthe same time will increase therange available for largeranimals and offer additionalresources.
native"plants because they haveevolved with wildlife to becomehighly suited to its needs. Theyare also hardier, requiring fewerchemicals to keep them healthy.At the same time, there aremany nonnative species thatmay attract your interest, andyour final design should reflectyour own taste and preferences.We recommend, however, thatyou do some research first.
Exotic" plants may becomeinvasive and can get out of control more easily when youhave a large property tosupervise. Once established,they are very difficult toeliminate.Groups of plants aregenerally more attractive towildlife than single specimens,and with a large property youhave the opportunity tolandscape with clusters of vegetation.Evergreen windbreaks are agood example. Planted inmasses, these trees arestriking in appearancethroughout the year, and offervaluable winter cover for wildlife,as well as seeds for birds.As an extra bonus, they canindeed block cold winds. Shownin the sample plan aregroupings of Colorado bluespruce (Picea pungens), whitepine (Pinus strobus), and redcedar (Juniperus viginiana).For the unspecified evergreenscreen near the house, considerbroadleaf evergreens likeAmerican holly (Ilex opaca),mountain laurel (Kalmialatifolia), or Oregon grape(Mahonia aquifolium).
Trees for the fruit orchardcan be chosen to suit yourtaste buds, but select cultivarsthat have been bred to requireas little chemical treatment aspossible. Sprays can affectbirds and beneficial insects, aswell as those that you aretrying to eliminate.Deciduous trees will lose theirleaves in winter, but providefood, flowers, nesting sites inspring, and shady relief fromthe summer sun.Keep in mind the mature sizeof any selection, and whether itwill block a view or crowd astructure.
Shrubs Produce Berries
There are also many kinds of shrubs to choose from,providing a lower layer of vegetation. Those in our chartare native plants selected fortheir wildlife value. Mostproduce berries, some of whichwill persist into winter to supplyimportant cold-weathernourishment.With some acreage to work with, you have the chance toset aside large areas for themeadows that wildlifeappreciates so much but hasless and less opportunity tofind. Whether filled with flowersor grasses, meadows offerplenty of cover and food. Thereare wildflower seed mixesavailable for all parts of thecountry, and a variety of grainsand warm season grasses tochoose from.Our design uses switchgrass,millet, grain sorghum, clover,and buckwheat. Warm seasongrass selections can includelittle bluestem (Schizachyriumscoparium), blue grama(Bouteloua gracilis), and Indianricegrass (Ozyzopsishumenoides).
Songbirds Love Sunflowers
The areas set aside to beplanted with sunflowers will liftyour spirits every time you seethem in bloom, and delight