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This week we’re all about gardens that not only look great but also welcome wildlife right into your backyard. You’ll find everything from designing a peaceful woodland garden to the best ways to attract birds, bees, and butterflies. We’re also spotlighting ornamental grasses that do double duty adding beauty and habitat, and we’ll show you how easy worm composting can be for boosting your soil’s health. Plus, don’t miss out on learning about the buttonbush—a true hero in any wildlife garden. Ready to make your garden a favorite hangout for local wildlife? Let’s get started!

Pond and ferns in woodland garden

Discover the joys of a garden that not only offers a lush, peaceful sanctuary but also brings cooling shade in summer, reduces noise, and requires less maintenance. Learn how to choose the right native plants and design elements that will not only create a space that you’ll enjoy, but also attract wildlife into your garden


Bird in birdbath

From ideas as small as adding a bird bath to as large as planting a native oak tree, Doug Tallamy gives you 10 suggestions on how to make a difference in the lives of local wildlife.

Shade Garden Path, Rick Darke Garden

Take a stroll through ecologist and horticulturist Rick Darke’s 1.5-acre Pennsylvania property. Darke and his wife care for the completely sustainable garden all by themselves—and that’s not even the most impressive fact about the property. Photo by Rick Darke.

Prairie Winds® 'Cheyenne Sky' ornamental grass

Bring texture and elegance to your garden while supporting local wildlife with ornamental grasses! These versatile plants are perfect for any setting, from containers to large-scale beds, creating sustainable landscapes that nurture diverse ecosystems. Include these graceful grasses for year-round interest in your wildlife-friendly garden. Pictured: Prairie Winds® ‘Cheyenne Sky’(Panicum virgatum) from Proven Winners.


Worm composting

Discover the magic of worm composting, perfect for gardeners looking to enrich their soil sustainably. Learn how to set up and manage a worm bin, and how worm castings (vermicompost) can enhance plant growth and boost soil health even better than traditional compost. And, if you’re not quite ready to take on a few hundred worms yourself, there’s a ton of great info on just how beneficial worm castings are for your garden. 

Sugar Shack buttonbush

When I think of plants to add to a garden that serve multiple purposes,  buttonbush is right up there at the top of the list. This versatile native shrub offers unique, fragrant flowers that are an important food source for hummingbirds, honeybees, bumble bees, moths, and many types of butterflies. Plus, its colorful seed pods provide late-season food for songbirds and waterfowl, and its dense growth also provides habitat for nesting birds. Learn more about this important plant that can be grown in Zones 4-10. Pictured: Sugar Shack® buttonbush from Proven Winners. 

May has been designated “Gardening for Wildlife Month” from the National Wildlife Federation. Many gardeners have discovered the importance of creating spaces that not only attract, but also provide food and shelter for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. So, why not take it a step further? See how you can get your wildlife-friendly garden recognized as a certified wildlife habitat

Happy gardening!