When people think of a wildlife garden, they often think of a messy tangle of plants tossed together without much forethought, like a thicket of shrubs and trees that might only appear inviting to squirrels and spiders. But a wildlife garden doesn't have to be messy or unwelcoming. It just requires striking the right balance between form and function. When it works, it meets the needs of everyone—human and nonhuman alike—and provides an oasis of beauty.
There are lots of good reasons to create a wildlife-friendly garden:
• Birds and other creatures eat bugs, providing natural pest control.
• Creatures of all kinds are a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
• A garden that's a little less refined means lower maintenance.
• Increased pollination from bees and birds increases the yield of fruit and vegetables.
Take video a tour of a successful wildlife garden with Sara Van Fleet, a passionate gardener and wildlife enthusiast in Vashon, Washington.