Fantastic Michigan



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Coexistence with Wildlife

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The population boom has changed forever the living conditions of our wildlife. We humans invaded the animals habitat and forced them to live among us. By planting only berry-producing  shrubs and trees which bear fruit,  my whole property has become a wildlife habitat. To aid in my war against insects, I encourage a large population of birds in my yard by supplying them with their basic needs.  

My property provides the four basic habitat elements wildlife need to thrive:  water,   food,  cover and a place to raise their young.  I plan my landscape with needs of wildlife in mind and use only berry- or seed-producing plants. I encourage you to do the same.


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I provide color, form and texture in my landscape with  careful selection of plant material. For example, striking contrast is created by planting  red- or yellow-barked dogwoods (Cornus spp.) in front of  groupings of Colorado Blue spruces (Picea pungens). Plants with sculptural form include the spiky Yuccas.  I favor the variegated cultivars. The varied tones of conifers, junipers (like Juniperus horizontalis "Mother lode") and broad-leafed evergreens provide a spectacular accent. Many of my shrubs have variegated leaves.

I use "Harry Lauder's walking stick" (Corylus avellana 'Contorta') for its exotic shape of stems and branches and its gorgeous display of catkins. The cotoneaster's branching patterns add interest and the graceful arching leaves of ornamental grasses add grace and motion.   Weeping Norway Spruces (Picea abies pendula) and grafted Blue Spruces (globe and pyramid forms) are planted as specimens. They are great focal points. Many plantings of red  barberry (Berberis thunbergii), including the variety 'Roseglow',  provide brilliant color.

The berries of ornamental trees, like the Hawthorns (Crataegus), Crabapple  (Malus cultivars) and Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparis), and the berries of the viburnums remain on the plants throughout winter until eaten by wildlife.

As you see, even a wildlife habitat can be beautiful throughout the year. Just choose your planting materials carefully.

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Water - an important element 
for Wildlife
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A new-born - peacefully sleeping  between the Viburnum


Many varieties of berry-producing viburnums
Cotoneasters (Cotoneaster apiculatus and horizontalis)
Cutleaf Buckthorns (Rhamnus frangula asplenifolia)
Cranberries (Viburnum opulus)
Dogwoods (Cornus sericea)
Hawthorns (Crataegus phaenopyrum)
Honeysuckles (Lonicera) - native Bush Honeysuckle
Serviceberries (Amelanchier arborea)
Privets (Ligustrum amurense)
Various Taxus and Juniperus species and Euonymus
Large variety of conifers, including many dwarf conifers

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Ornamental Grass
Rock Garden 

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Picea pungens var. glauca Bambi race

   Do not plant  exotic bush  honeysuckles. They are highly  invasive and may compete  with native bush honeysuckles for pollinators and may 
result in reduced seed set for native species.
The selection of Privet calls for caution also. Avoid the Chinese  privet 
(Ligustrum sinense); which is an exotic invader  and could in time dominate 
the under-story of invaded habitats. 


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C.Tufts from the National Wildlife Federation at my Wildlife Habitat. Craig Tufts is one of the leading experts on gardening for wildlife.

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Picea  pungens var. glauca

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Sedum  'Autumn Joy

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Color, Form and Texture

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Interested in finding the best Plant Nurseries from around the World? 
Visit: Garden Web World's top Nursery Page

"More Information on creating a Wildlife Habitat are located at the National Wildlife Federation's Web Site"



Journey North            Journeys of migratory butterflies
Frogwatch USA          Frog- and toad-monitoring program
Monarch Watch         Tagging, monitoring and measuring
Project Feeder Watch A citizen-science project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology 
North American Bluebird Society
(You can create and monitor nest boxes and share info and data)
North American Amphibian Monitoring Program (NAAMP)
(Continent-wide amphibian-monitoring program, with projects
including frog-call surveys and terrestrial-salamander surveys)

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Perennials provide 
 3 seasons of color and Winter Interest

 Cacti Garden adds uniqueness to my habitat


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Woodchucks in love


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