Landscaping for Wildlife

Warm sunny spring days often turn thoughts to those seed catalogs which have been enjoyed during the Michigan winter. For a four-season wildlife garden with low maintenance and high wildlife, suggested plants include grasses, wildflower perennials, and shrubs that offer shelter and a diversified food source. For example, butterflies require nectar bearing plants such as butterflyweed, Asclepas tuberosa and coreopsis, Coreopsis spp. Their larvae require host plants for food. Milkweed, Asclepias spp., hackberry, Celtis spp., parsley, and dill are just a few plants to consider for your butterfly garden.

When selecting plants, purchase those that are native to Michigan. All seedlings or container plants should be germinated and grown by the nursery on site. Plant only "natives" to reduce the spread of exotic species.

Once you've established your garden, it can provide hours of viewing opportunities right outside your back door.

For more information about landscaping for wildlife, check out the publication, "Backyard Wildlife Management" from the Natural Resources Conservation Services and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.