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Hedgerows as Habitat: A Resource Guide

Articles: Hedgerows as Habitat: A Resource Guide

Flowering buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) in a hedgerow bordering the vineyards at Frog’s Leap Winery in Napa Valley. Photo: Frederique Lavoipierre

Native plant hedgerows can provide habitat for a diversity of birds, insects, and other small animals, offering food, cover for nesting and overwintering, and safe travel from one area to another. Lists of plants suitable for garden hedgerows are as varied as a homeowner’s landscaping style, wildlife preference, and what the climate dictates, but try to include shrubs, grasses, flowering annuals and perennials, and ground cover. Many habitat plants, especially for native insects, are not well-studied; observant gardeners can contribute significantly to our knowledge of which native plants are best for attracting beneficial insects and other garden allies.

Any of the following lists should be checked with a local native plant nursery for suitability in the individual gardener’s situation. Substitutions are encouraged! Pay attention to available space, and allow room for the hedgerow to grow. With a careful selection of plants, especially those that will suppo...

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