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Create a Harmonious Backyard Garden

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Building a Pond: Step-by-Step Guide 
Planning and Budgeting Your Pond 
Beyond Koi: Adding Life to Your Pond 
Renew Your Senses with a Nature-Inspired Backyard
When you look out into your backyard, are you immediately transported to a more tranquil place - where the worries of the workday vanish instantly? Does the landscape you see have a restorative effect on you, fully awakening each of your senses? If not, there are many small things you can do to create outdoor living spaces that soothe your soul and reconnect you with nature. No matter where you live, whether a city apartment or lavish country home, there are ways to blend the beauty of nature with the works of man. Create tranquil outdoor spaces that take you away from it all by inviting Mother Nature into your backyard.

Attracting Birds Attract chirping birds or chattering animals native to your locale by providing their basic habitat, feeding, and cover requirements. Wild birds, for example, require the proper trees and shrubs for housing and cover, as well as easily accessible sources of food and water. Add these elements to your backyard and wild birds will soon bring the joy of their sprightly songs along with endearing courtship, nesting, and rearing habits.

If you want wild birds as part of your restorative landscape, you will need birdfeeders or birdbaths to offer them a reason to visit your yard or patio. If you have a deck or balcony with limited space, the Wrought Iron Deck Hanger is a simple solution. You can place one of these hangers on any deck or balcony rail. On one of the mounting arms, place a generous-capacity Triple Tube Bird Feeder to attract a wide variety of wild birds. A window feeder is another excellent option. Most window feeders mount to any window by suction cup for quick and easy installation.

  Squirrel Be-Gone III Triple Tube Feeder
To attract birds out on your lawn, the Triple Tube Wild Bird Feeder is a great option. This feeder includes three separate feeding tubes so you can offer feed mixes that attract a greater variety of birds. It also features a weather guard/squirrel baffle. Provide proper cover for birds by locating this feeding system near a tall shrub or small tree. Birds can then escape quickly and take cover should a predator approach.

To improve the overall attractiveness of any feeding station, add a small circular planting border below the station. Plant perennials, annuals, or flowering shrubs and finish this small garden with decorative stones or patio bricks. When these stones heat up in the sunshine, you may find a butterfly or two sunning on them. Also, if your flowers are nectar producing, you may attract hummingbirds.

Bring Small Wildlife to Your Yard If you enjoy the antics of squirrels and chipmunks out on your lawn, why not give them a feeder of their own. This way, your bird feeders will be raided less frequently and you'll invite a greater diversity of small wildlife. To attract the widest variety of species to your backyard, place several styles of feeders in varying locations and heights and offer different types of seed.

Keep in mind that birds and other visitors also need fresh water everyday. A birdbath offers birds and other wildlife a source of water for bathing and drinking. To keep the water sparkling clean and healthy for them, change the water daily. You will be surprised at how easily birds can find a bath once you place one out for them.

  Gray Squirrel
Adding Fountains and Water Features When space is limited, you can incorporate a birdbath to attract wild birds with moving water. A Water Wiggler helps aerate the water, creates the attractive trickle bird's love, and requires only a small space within a birdbath. Use additional landscape such as decorative rocks and plants for added visual appeal around your miniature pond.

For those who have a backyard pond, there are some creative ways to heighten its appeal to both humans and visiting wildlife. Lighting systems add drama and visual appeal, transforming a pond that would otherwise be unnoticed at night into a romantic, evening retreat. Fountain pumps bring the soothing sound of splashing water but also keep the pond water aerated, attract wildlife, and draw attention to your pond.

Once you've explored the many ways to attract Mother Nature's beauty to your backyard landscape, look for ways to bring artistic man-made touches to create the perfect balance between art and nature. A wide mix of outdoor accessories, from garden accents to lighting, contributes to the overall transcending affect your backyard has on your soul and senses.

  The sound of trickling, splashing water attracts birds and other wildlife but also provides soothing and relaxing aural stimulation for humans. There are many ways to create gentle, splashing sounds of water in your backyard landscape.
After you've put some of these components together, you'll quickly see how your backyard can become a place that provides an escape from the mundane and a reprieve from a stressful day - all year round. Plus, you don't have to go anywhere to enjoy it; it's all within the convenient confines of your backyard!
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