February is a great time to step back and consider habitat garden design while keeping natural processes like the interactions between flora, fauna, and soils in mind. NWF’s tips
Most birds don’t nest in winter, but those that stick around through the cold months start scouting for nesting places as early as February, so get your nesting boxes out now. NWF tips for choosing and mounting
The numbers of the majestic monarch butterfly continue to decline. But there are steps we can take to help when they arrive this year from the arduous migration. 5 steps to help the monarch butterfly this year
Dr. Doug Tallamy’s newest book, February 2020, is “Nature’s Best Hope – A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard”
CWF partners in Colorado with National Wildlife Federation to participate in NWF’s acclaimed certified wildlife habitat/garden program. You can help protect pollinator populations and other species by creating a wildlife habitat garden – for pollinators, birds, etc.
The 2021 virtual Landscaping with Native Plants Conference is February 27.
And the 2020 Landscaping with Native Plants Conference was great as always. We were a sponsor and exhibitor. Here is a link to presentations and information:
In my garden I plant natives such as nodding onion, wallflower, firecracker pentagon, pasque flower, blanketflower, harebells, beebalm, and butterfly milkweed. The showy milkweed has spread onto my property from other properties and I am delighted each year to see an increased number of these plants for monarch butterflies. I intend to supplement my existing natives this spring. I must continue to be vigilant this year – almost all year – to remove promptly any unwelcome thistle such as canada and musk thistle, and russian olive sprouts from stumps that I painted in past years. — Suzanne O’Neill
To certify your garden, go to nwf.org/certify
This wonderful program provides official recognition for gardens that provide these 5 key elements:
The program can recognize a garden in your yard or balcony container garden. You will be helping to replenish resources for pollinators and other wildlife in Colorado. Join the more than 200,000 Certified Wildlife Habitats and Certify today!
Find available native plants at www.nwf.org/sitecore/content/Home/Garden-for-Wildlife/About/Native-Plants/Find-Available-Natives
resourcecentral.org/gardens/ for Garden-In-A-Box info – Colorado.
Here is another interesting resource: “Shade Flowers for a Forest Garden.”
Here is a video from NWF re “10 Ways to Nature Play at Home”
City and County of Denver announced on November 29, 2018 its intention to certify as a community habitat via NWF, in partnership with Colorado Wildlife Federation, Denver Water and Denver Public Schools. When individuals and homeowner/neighborhood associations in the City and County of Denver certify their gardens, this contributes to the points required for Denver to reach community certification status.
Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper declared June Colorado’s polliinator month.
“Bees, and other pollinators, are crucial for our ecosystem and the starting point of the food chain that serves countless species, including humans! The out-sized work of bees makes them truly fantastic creatures.”
Colorado Resolution 1029 designated first “Pollinator Highway“ — Interstate 76. It directed Colorado Dept. of Transportation to coordinate with local governments , willing landowners and other groups to use Integrated Vegetative Management strategies to develop pollinator habitat where appropriate — maintenance needs of pollinator habitat are very low.
Idea for water features:
Here are links for resources and also to learn how to certify your habitat garden.
Impact of Certified Wildlife Garden Habitats
For anyone who is unfamiliar with cheatgrass, above is a photo so you can identify this invasive scourge that spreads quickly and ruins native habitat.
It now has spread to 100 million acres in western states. If you see it in a small patch and seeds have not disbursed, pull it out by it shallow roots.
Want to plant bulbs that squirrels will not dig up? For fall planting try Allium and Daffodils. Perhaps you can hide a few tulip bulbs inside a group of Allium and Daffodils but no guarantee that will work.
Go to NWF’s Facebook for a video interview of naturist David Mizejewski who gives tips on providing water for wildlife during summer and how to have a wildlife water feature while eliminating mosquitos.
See the Denver Zoo’s new pollinator garden, The Pollinator Pathway. This became National Wildlife Federation’s 200,000th certified wildlife habitat!
Here is a link to the CBS news story about honeybees wearing tiny backpacks to try and solve the mystery of why worker bees permanently leave their hives.
Showy Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)
© Kathy Boucher
Its life zone in Colorado is from the plains to montane. It is a host plant to the Monarch butterfly – milkweed is the only plant that Monarch caterpillars eat.
Colorado has four native types of milkweed.
White-lined sphinx moth (Hyles lineata)
Pollinator Pathway at the Denver Zoo – installed spring 2016- is NWF’s 200,000th certified garden habitat!
You can see the colorful Blanketflower (Gaillardia aristata). This Colorado native grows well in the foothills and montane zones. It blooms from June through early fall.
Woodhouse’s toad in garden habitat (Front Range- Colorado)