Maintaining a healthy garden or backyard is difficult; making it aesthetic can be even more challenging. However, one reliable and easy way to make your garden more appealing is by incorporating the three basic B’s: birds, bees, and butterflies. Onomatopoeically speaking, if you miss the sweet chirping of birds, the buzzing of busy bees, and the fluttering of butterflies, this blog is just the one for you!
MPR Landscapes will thoroughly guide you through the process of creating a garden that attracts these entities. We will also explore how you can make your space welcoming for them by listing out the top five steps.
❇️ THE BENEFITS OF INCLUDING BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, AND BEES IN YOUR GARDEN
Before diving into the workings of creating a visually attractive garden, let us look at the benefits of having bees, birds, and butterflies in your outdoor space:
There is definitely more to these little yellow creatures than meets the eye. Bees are essential for the ecosystem and biodiversity. They also fully contribute to the maintenance of the food chain. Bees are part of a complex ecosystem where everything is interconnected and interdependent. They are natural pollinators. Pollination is the process of transferring pollen from the anther to the stigma. It occurs within the same flower or with other flowers, called self-pollination and cross-pollination, respectively.
The successful pollen transfer process allows fertilization in plants and the creation of seeds. That is why having natural pollinators like bees will produce more fruits and new plants. As a result, you can have a higher yield of fruits and vegetables. These small buzzing insects display vibrant colors and sit on colorful flowers. By having bees in your garden, you can be delighted as far as aesthetics are concerned. They give your space a sense of vitality and exuberance.
Bees are delicate creatures that make you appreciate the environment and everything contained within. So it can also be a fantastic learning opportunity for your kids, too. You can teach them about the intricate pollination process and its environmental importance.
Last but not least, one of the significant advantages of having bees in your garden is that you can harvest natural, organic honey! So bees are great for your plants and your personal use. Honey, as you know, is one of the most beneficial substances and is jam-packed with multiple nutrients and antioxidants.
What is better than the delightful chirping of birds early morning that signifies the rising of the sun and the start of a new day?
Birds are pleasant little creatures that one can never get enough of! Apart from their contribution to the aesthetics and beauty of the garden, birds offer various benefits. Like bees, birds are also essential components of ecosystems and organic food chains. They eat worms, mosquitoes, spiders, pests, and other insects. They prey on these insects, which might otherwise pose potential damage to your garden and its management.
Birds also play an essential role in the pollination process, just like bees. They can quickly disperse seeds through the excreted waste by flying high over places. This is your chance to enhance the biodiversity in your garden by attracting birds. Moreover, they are helpful against unwanted weeds or small plants. Watching birds peacefully or drawing them are fun past times for adults and children alike. They serve educational and recreational purposes.
You can also play a crucial and much-needed role in conserving various bird species. Like other animals on this planet, birds are facing the unprecedented challenges of global warming, climate change, deforestation, and habitat loss. Making your garden hospitable may save the lives of many if not all, birds. It may also be safe to assume that having a garden filled with birds, bees, and butterflies may increase your overall property value through their significant contribution to aesthetics.
Butterflies are fragile creatures that are amusing and fascinating for people of all ages. The delicate movements of their vibrant wings are therapeutic. In addition, their graceful flights can enhance your outdoor space’s appeal.
The common benefit that all three entities share is pollination. Adult butterflies feed on flower nectar through their proboscis. Hence, they improve the ecosystem and sustain plant diversity in your space. Butterflies lay their eggs on specific host plants. Therefore, attracting them also incentivizes you to plant various native flowers and plants in your garden. In this way, you play your role in sustainable gardening and maintaining ecological balance. You cannot use harmful pesticides or chemicals in your backyard or garden, as they may harm bees or butterflies. So having butterflies also motivates you to use fewer or less toxic chemicals.
One of nature’s most beautiful and mesmerizing processes is the metamorphosis of butterflies from caterpillars. The emergence of their new wings and changed bodies slowly out of a cocoon is truly a sight to behold. You can witness such small miracles of nature and many more by creating a hospitable garden for these little creatures.
❇️ TOP 5 STEPS TO CREATE A HOSPITABLE GARDEN
Whether you live in a rural or urban area, you can easily create a garden to attract birds, bees, and butterflies. Let us have a look at five steps by which you can form such a garden:
⭕ Remember That These Species are Vulnerable!
First and foremost, it is essential to understand that creating a garden that attracts these insects and birds is rewarding. It offers so much more than just aesthetics, even in a humane and compassionate sense. According to various studies, the growing threat of climate change and global warming affects birds, bees, and butterflies. More than 40% of bee species are now vulnerable to extinction. They have been classified as endangered. A lot of butterflies have been declared endangered species as well.
Birds, for instance, are migrating to other lands. They are at an even higher risk of extinction. Some of the declining populations of birds are the Kiwi, Fruit Dove, California Condor, and Kakapo. The endangerment of these species is intricately linked with deforestation and climate change. Hence, it is crucial to look for solutions. Providing nesting places, food supplies, and a hospitable environment ensures that these species do not face habitat loss or any vulnerability.
⭕ Grow The Right Flowers and Plants
Bees, butterflies, and birds are dependent upon plants and trees for nesting, food, and pollination. Therefore, you ought to find plants that are friendly to these species.
Do thorough research before you start your selection. Interestingly, using flowers of different shapes, sizes, and colors can attract a diverse variety of bees or butterflies. Both insects are known for their excellent color vision. Vibrant hues like yellow, red, orange, and blue appeal to them. You can opt for flowers like daisies, honeysuckle, or sunflowers to attract bees. Moreover, berries, such as cherry and raspberry, are pretty popular in this regard. As for herbs, you can choose basil, rosemary, oregano, or lavender. These are only some available options; you can consult professional landscapers for further advice.
As far as butterflies are concerned, plant selection is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, butterflies only lay their eggs on particular plants, so you must be extra careful here. Some options are milkweed, carrots, parsley, and passion vines. Plants like trumpet honeysuckle, sunflowers, ivy serviceberry, elderberry, and purple coneflower are excellent choices for bird attraction. Of course, different types or varieties of bees, birds, and butterflies have varying preferences and behaviors. So, apart from research, another easy way to get started is to check out any local nursery and consult with the experts there. They will most likely recommend native plant species to attract insects. The reason is that native plants are low-maintenance and well-adapted to the local climate and soil.
⭕ Make Your Garden Layout Desirable
The third step is to plan the garden layout accordingly. First, choose a desirable location for planting vibrant flowers. Then, make sure they have full access to sunlight for optimal growth.
The high temperature of the scorching summer sun can dehydrate the birds quickly. Ensure that your outdoor space has multiple food supplies and small water bodies like a fountain or bird bath near them. Plant cherries and berry bushes near trees. Doing so helps the birds conveniently access food supplies. Be mindful of wind directions for their nests, which storms can easily destroy.
⭕ Do Not Use Any Chemicals or Pesticides!
Harmful chemicals like pesticides and insecticides are detrimental to insects and small animals. Do not spray these chemicals in your garden, as they are highly toxic. Moreover, prolonged exposure to chemicals may cause neurological damage and eventually death in animals. Consequently, their numbers decrease significantly, which not only affects the aesthetics of your garden adversely but also reduces pollination. So using pesticides and insecticides affects these insect rates and may also considerably reduce the plant yield for the time being. It is more sustainable and environmentally friendly to stop using such chemicals altogether. They also harm human health by causing respiratory problems, potential allergic reactions, and poisoning.
These chemicals indirectly negatively impact the incoming insects in your garden. For instance, when used improperly, pesticides are likely to contaminate water and soil in the area. In addition, excess of it can hinder the growth of plants that may possess the capabilities to attract bees and butterflies, along with birds.
⭕ Make Homes For the Little Creatures!
Lastly, encourage the arrival of the species by making safe spaces for them. That is to say, make them feel at home (literally). You can build nesting homes and small wooden birdhouses for birds. There is a lot of variety in these homes. For example, you can build open-fronted nest boxes or sparrow terraces. Place them on high ground, away from the reach of any probable predators. Look for places that are cool, calm, and sheltered from strong winds so your birds can enjoy their stay. It may be hard to believe, but there are now butterfly houses for your little guests! Most of these houses are elongated wooden structures with narrow slits. Add small branches or sticks inside the compartment where butterflies will rest. You can even place small fruit pieces or nectar inside to lure them in. Finally, place the houses near flowers and a few inches above the ground so butterflies can have access inside. Bee hotels and bee boxes are quite popular if you want to attract bees. However, the two are significantly different when it comes to their structure.
A bee hotel consists of horizontal tubes of wood or bamboo open at one end, where bees lay their eggs in the cavities. The hotels are created for solitary bees and are placed close to the ground. As the name suggests, solitary bees do not live in hives. Bee boxes, on the other hand, are wooden structures designed for bee colonies. They are used for honey production, which you can later take out. Moreover, it is a great learning experience for young children to see the importance of bee hives, colonies’ formation, and queen bees.
Following the above-mentioned steps, you can easily create a welcoming and inviting garden for birds, bees, and butterflies. Doing so will enhance the appeal of your garden and aid in conserving species threatened by inevitable climate change. These winged creatures offer various benefits, such as pollination and learning opportunities, and help to create an aesthetic ambiance in your garden. You can start by learning about these species and the threats they face. Then you do research and choose mostly friendly plant varieties. Your garden’s layout and little safe homes for these creatures are paramount. Birds, bees, and butterflies are essential components of a complex ecosystem, and you can make sure the system stays thriving! If you want to plan your landscape design or garden layout, call experts like MPR Landscapes. Furthermore, you can benefit from important services like lawn maintenance, planting, and seeking advice for your attractive garden. Contact us today for further information!