Monday, July 24, 2006

Backyard Biodiversity

In 1994 my sister Abbie redesigned our yard to include all sorts of bushes and trees to attract birds. We have great soil so everything really took off. We have six birdfeeders up and get a lot of birds.

I used the same landscaping company (All Seasons Landscape, Wauwatosa, WI) to do our yard work: aerating, fertilizing & weeding, Spring & Fall cleanup. Our grass looked great. However, it was like a grass desert. We didn’t have any birds that ate insects because we didn’t have any insects. No biodiversity at all. Just grass.

A few years back I stopped having them apply any herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizer. It has taken a while, but our yard has healed itself nicely.

We now regularly have grackles, robins, butterflies, bees, moths and a whole host of other plants and insects. Some may call them weeds, but to me they are the signs of a healthy ecosystem.

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