|Do you despise pigweed because it grows so easily on its own?|
Our helper is proud of our wild garden. Long ago, the last portion of the backyard was simply the place where the compost pile was built in a circle of chicken wire. The barrier to fun was a lack of sunlight, which was cured by our pruning party. The volume of branches removed can be measured this way - three men took a long time to get them all to the front curb.
Small logs gave me a way to separate the Butterfly Bushes and keep from being trampled. That looked good so we kept the largest log as a trophy and fence rather than something to be cut up and hauled away. Logs are good for sheltering toads, feeding insect and soil life. Grass and weeds grow up around it for additional shelter and food.
Longer logs with branches still attached are also good. When I lay them out for the border fence, the attached branches stick up into the air. Tres chic for the birds. They perch on the upper parts to view their territory for danger and food. All sticks and odd branches are piled next to the Jackson Bird Spa, because birds like the way sticks attract bugs.
If, on the other hand, you want to let your border get a little wild and weedy, that’s OK too. In a way, insectary borders are meant to be a substitute of sorts for the weedy habitats we gardeners often feel we should discourage. They provide the same benefits in regard to habitat, food, and prey for natural enemies. But to really do good by your beneficials, why not have both? Plant a beautiful, lively insectary border filled to the brim with exciting and enticing plants, and also relax your anti-weed morals and let some of them be.
Walliser, Jessica (2014-02-26). Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control (Kindle Locations 1634-1638). Timber Press. Kindle Edition.
Another lack in the back was water. I extended the Jackson Aqueduct to the back area, running the hose along the ground, just as the Romans lowered their aqueduct height to move the water farther. That gave me a moderately sunny and watered area for sunflowers, Cow Vetch, and Queen Ann's Lace. Later I sowed buckwheat there. Pigweed grows without an invitation and goosefoot usually springs up in rich ground. Both are edible and good for the soil.
For backup, I placed a second community pool in the wild garden. I need to cut the pool walls to make it more hospitable to birds, toads, and creepy crawly things. Making the pool shallower also helps in dumping and refilling it. I do not think it gets much action now, but I wanted the creatures to get used to it first. The second pool in the vegetable garden is cut down - disgracefully dirty each day - thanks to high traffic from the avian Air Force.
|Water, shelter, and food will multiply the toads,|
who decimate the pests.
Always - Always
We now have constant activity from God's Creation because the creatures always have:
- Water in pools for bathing and drinking.
- Flat dishes that collect rain for hydrating toads, who do not drink but soak up their water.
- Suet in baskets for the insect eating birds.
- Seed in the feeder for the finches and chickadees.
- Many kinds of plants for food and for harboring insects the birds enjoy.
- No cats to bother them.
|Norma Boeckler's cardinals -|
these shy birds now eat a few feet from me.