Charles Darwin once said, "Nothing exists for itself alone, but only in relation to other forms of life."
Most people don't realize that even the tiniest backyard can be turned into a wildlife habitat. With the right arrangement of vegetation, one can attract beautiful creatures to a residential landscaping. Wonderful, common plants like cattails and ferns, are just a couple that appeal to nature's finest.
If one grows blueberry bushes in the backyard, for instance, one can expect a little zoo of wildlife to pay a visit. Deer, squirrels, blue jays, mice, and many other animals adore the delicious, tart blueberry fruit, along with the twigs and foliage from the bush. Black bears are also crazy about blueberry bushes, and will travel for several miles just to get to a favorite blueberry patch.
By building a backyard habitat, one is helping to restore a small piece of the ecosystem. Nature's creatures are often forgotten as urban sprawl takes over, squeezing animals out of their homes. When natural disasters strike, such as hurricanes, fire, and flooding, animals can also lose shelter and food and water sources.
Getting children involved in building a backyard habitat only increases a respect and love of nature. Watching squirrels scamper off to play in the bushes, or butterflies flirting with the snapdragon and honeysuckle plants, or delicate hummingbirds hovering over the dahlias and petunias, are all welcome sights of nature.
To attract these busy creatures, one can landscape for wildlife with the right backyard plants. For example, the tiny hummingbird enjoys dining on nectar-rich vegetation. Shrubs such as the azalea and rose of Sharon are lovely to grow in the yard, along with bleeding hearts, columbine, fuchsia, and petunia flowers of all colors.
Cattails are found at the edge of wetlands. One is lucky to have a backyard that borders this rich wildlife food source. A cattail is best described as a corndog on a stem, and several creatures really like the vegetation for several reasons. Muskrats and certain fish will munch on the shoreline reed. Ducks and geese will build nests in them, and certain songbirds like to take the fluff from the flowers to line their nests.
One doesn't have to live high in the mountains and deep in the forest to see signs of wildlife roaming or flying about. Every backyard is a habitat and key piece to the ecosystem. Even a simple group of ferns make a nice addition to the menu.