Habitat gardening—until about 15 years ago, that was a term and concept that had eluded me. Now, it’s a way of life. I simply refer to it as gardening for birds, bees, butterflies, and bugs. As a habitat gardener, I’ve learned to tolerate a bit of messiness because nature doesn’t work in tidy, parallel rows. And a few insect holes and bite marks on leaves come with the territory as do some random weeds like Queen Anne’s lace, goldenrod, and wild radish. If you are fastidious, meticulous, and compulsive about having a perfectly neat, weed-free garden, then perhaps habitat gardening is not for you.
But what a habit it is—the good kind! It simply means that you make your gardens appealing and safe for the creatures, especially the pollinators. Grow plants that will attract them and feed them. Keep clean water available. Don’t use toxic sprays. And plant a diversity of trees and shrubs so they can build their homes and thrive.
I’m not a bug expert. All I know is that if you have enough of the right plants in your garden, there will be both good bugs and bad bugs, and the former will eliminate the latter. If they don’t, the birds will. Your garden will be in balance.