Carol and I have had our backyard certified by the NWF for many years now – it’s a fun way to get your kids interested in the environment (even if it’s only their own yard) and to foster a respect for our plant in the big picture. All great things start small.
Here’s some images from this morning’s walkabout (4.22.2019) – our little part of the Earth right here in northeast Florida.
We live in a somewhat typical suburban neighborhood with the exception of the backyard has not one blade of grass. No mowing, no lawn maintenance – no chemicals.
Other trees that we’ve planted – Leyland cypress, Japanese black pine, and river birch. All of these do extremely well in the semi-wet environment of our yard and all are native to Florida.
As the summer wears on, these garden ornaments make a perfect landing spot for dragonflies while patrolling their territory.
The crepe myrtle in this part of Florida does well without much fuss – it gets all of its water from rainfall and I’ve never fertilized it or use chemicals on insects. The birds and lizards do an excellent job at keeping the bugs in check.
Other dwellers of the yard – otters (rarely now do we see them), hawks, cardinals, bluebirds, wrens, crows, vultures, marsh rabbits, squirrels, snakes (all types except pythons), lizards, frogs, river cooters (turtles), gopher tortoise, bats, owls, racoon, opossum, armadillo, bobcat (rarely but they do show up), coyotes (only recently), and there was a report of a black bear a few years back. No deer as the yard is way too wet and the woods are a bit dense.
It’s super easy to convert your backyard into a wildlife habitat – just get rid of the grass, plant native trees (a bunch of them), provide some groundcover and water, plant native bushes and flowers and then sit back and enjoy the show. It sure beats mowing and the birds and the bees will thank you each and every day!
Certify your yard with the NWF (go online, it’s easy to do), buy your trees through the National Arbor Day Foundation, shop for native trees and shrubs through local nurseries, add plenty of environmentally friendly rocks (if you’re not blessed with them naturally), mulch to discourage weeds, and share your knowledge with others.
Happy Earth Day y’all! Peace!
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