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Natural Gardens Ideas and Plants

Updated on March 21, 2012

What is a Natural Garden?

A natural garden will usually combine plants native to your area. Non-native plants will look like they belong if colors and textures match the surrounding, native flora. A natural garden forgoes the use of synthetic pesticides and herbicides. These plans offer wildlife sustenance and shelter in such a manner with no obvious formal lines and detail. Once established, natural gardens should remain easy to care for.

You can purchase wildflowers and other items to attract wildlife to your yard over the Internet, through ads or at your local nursery.

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Common Snapping Turtle Living in a Man-made "Natural" Habitat
Common Snapping Turtle Living in a Man-made "Natural" Habitat

A Few Nature Garden Ideas

Hummingbird Garden

Providing perches of varying heights will allow dominate birds to choose their favorite spot for preening, sunning and checking out their territory. Dominant hummingbirds are aggressive, pushing meeker birds away from feeders and watering stations. Provide several feeding stations hidden from one another so subordinate birds can feed unbothered by the more aggressive dominates. Add red accents and plants to attract hummingbirds to the area. Provide a mixture of nectar rich plants to keep them coming back. Plants suitable for hummingbird gardens include trumpet vine, columbine, larkspur, jasmine, soapwort and sweet peas. Humming birds require protein, especially during the breeding season. In the wild, they catch small insects to supply this need. Set out dishes of rotting banana and other fruit to attract fruit flies. Shallow dishes with water provide a place for the birds to bathe and condition their feathers.

Quail Habitat

Attract quail and other shy animals by creating natural habitat for them. Stack limbs and sticks in a sturdy, large pile to provide hiding and resting sites. Plant grasses, briars and other plant species that produce copious amounts of edible seeds and thorns, this ensures the birds and other creatures have a protective food source available. Quail like bunch grasses for nesting beneath because they offer shade and hiding from predators. Provide as much cover as possible; mass plantings with small open areas scattered throughout offer the best chances of attracting quail. Other species to find this habitat favorable include cardinals, mice, doves, thrashers, rabbits and chipmunks.

Butterfly Garden

Set up a butterfly garden in full sun areas. Provide butterflies with wet clay gathered locally or some other source of minerals. Setting up flat rocks that face the sun will give areas for sunning, an important aspect of a butterflies life. Butterflies enjoy rotting bananas and will soon cover a plate if offered some. Provide large leafed plants for butterflies to rest beneath during storms and in order to cool off. Plants that do well in this garden and attract butterflies include butterfly weed, milkweed, Passiflora, dandelions, honeysuckles, shasta daisies, hollyhocks, roses, Venus’ looking glass, dianthus and verbena.


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    • IsadoraPandora profile image

      Jocelyn 7 years ago from Florida, PCB

      Thank you very much Randy!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 7 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Very good ideas for non-traditional gardens. Much more entertaining too!