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The Pleasures of a Habitat Garden

Articles: The Pleasures of a Habitat Garden

The Fetzer Vineyards’ habitat borders in summer. Author’s photographs
Flowering plants emerged 100 million years ago, and during the Cenozoic era some 40 million years later, ascended into the world’s vegetation. Much of their co-evolution was mutualistic: whole complexes of species came to seal obligatory partnerships with their insect counterparts.
Edward Wilson, The Forgotten Pollinators

Isn’t it time, after sixty million years, that we begin to establish an appropriate relationship with insects and plants, a long overdue tête-a-tête in our gardens? Can’t we apply the same sort of wisdom and understanding that we now reserve for our feathered garden visitors?

A habitat garden provides a setting for wild creatures to exist happily with people. It includes plants selected to attract and feed beneficial insects, butterflies (both caterpillars and adults), pollinating insects, and birds. These creatures need flowering and fruiting plants to sustain them—some along their migratory routes, and some where they live seasonally or year round. Increasing development, human population growth, and toxic sprays a...


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