Create a Season-Long Wildlife Garden

Attract birds and butterflies to your yard by adding this beautiful, easy-care garden.

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Everything In This Slideshow

  • 1 of 22

    Our Garden Plan

    Our 15x25-foot garden is designed with wildlife in mind. It includes a wide variety of plants that will bloom reliably through the seasons. Read on to learn about each of the plants we've selected!

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    'Snow Dance' Tree Lilac

    Enjoy big clusters of fragrant white blooms in early summer with this heavy-blooming tree lilac. It starts flowering at an early age and puts on a better display every year. The butterflies will love you for it! This tree grows 18 feet tall -- so it provides plenty of privacy without taking up too much yard space.

    Name: Syringa reticulata 'Snow Dance'

    Zones: 3-7

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    'Ruby Tears' Crabapple

    This beautiful crabapple has a graceful, weeping habit with rose-pink flowers in spring and bold, purple foliage in summer. It has great disease resistance, too. And 'Ruby Tears' holds onto its fruits -- so they're always available for the birds.

    Name: Malus 'Ruby Tears'

    Zones: 4-8

    Note: This is a special offering for the winner of our Season-Long Wildlife Garden -- 'Ruby Tears' crabapple will not be available for sale until 2010!

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    'Quick Fire' Hydrangea

    For hydrangea lovers, this variety is one of the best. It's ultrahardy, flowers on current-year's growth (so you can be sure to get a spectacular display every year), and tolerates tough conditions. This selection blooms early in the season and offers flowers that fade to deep rose-pink color in fall. It also provides great habitat for birds.

    Name: Hydrangea paniculata 'Quick Fire'

    Zones: 3-9

  • Arrowwood Viburnum dentatum 5 of 22

    'Blue Muffin' Viburnum

    Add season-long zing to your landscape with arrowwood viburnum. 'Blue Muffin' is a wonderful variety with white flowers in spring, blue berries in summer, and brilliant red fall color. Plus, it grows well in full sun or partial shade and is deer-resistant. What more could you ask for?

    Name: Viburnum dentatum 'Blue Muffin'

    Zones: 3-8

  • Northcountry blueberry 6 of 22

    'Northcountry' Blueberry

    Don't forget to include some treats for yourself in your wildlife garden. 'Northcountry' blueberry produces plenty of delicious sweet fruits on a tidy, 2-foot-tall shrub. Bold fall color is an added bonus. And if you don't eat the berries, the birds surely will.

    Name: Vaccinium 'Northcountry'

    Zones: 4-8

  • 'Patriot' blueberry 7 of 22

    'Patriot' Blueberry

    Most blueberries bear the best crops if you plant more than one variety. So we selected 'Patriot' for this garden to complement 'Northcountry'. It grows 4 feet tall and bears large, sweet fruits. Like 'Northcountry', you can enjoy it for its pretty flowers, yummy berries, and fantastic fall color.

    Name: Vaccinium 'Patriot'

    Zones: 3-7

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    'Issai' Beautyberry

    Beautyberry is one of fall's most spectacular plants because of its clusters of rich, violet-purple fruits. This easy-growing shrub is great for attracting birds and adding a fun dash of color at the end of the season.

    Name: Callicarpa dichotoma 'Issai'

    Zones: 5-8

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    'Cool Splash' Bush Honeysuckle

    Brighten shady corners of your garden with 'Cool Splash' bush honeysuckle. This tough shrub bears rich green foliage boldly edged in white. Although the foliage is the main attraction, the plant also develops clusters of yellow, trumpet-shape flowers.

    Name: Diervilla 'Cool Splash'

    Zones: 3-7

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    Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout Hydrangea

    Treat bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to this stunning lacecap hydrangea. Unlike most lacecaps, Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout blooms on current-year's growth -- so you're sure to see its beautiful flowers every year, even if you live in Zone 4.

    Name: Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout Hydrangea macrophylla

    Zones: 4-9

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    Endless Summer Blushing Bride Hydrangea

    One of the most elegant mophead hydrangeas you can grow, this variety produces white flowers delicately blushed with pink. It bears its blossoms from July to frost -- even in the coldest Zones.

    Name: Endless Summer Blushing Bride Hydrangea macrophylla

    Zones: 5-9

  • Endless Summer hydrangea 12 of 22

    Endless Summer Hydrangea

    Fill partly shaded sections of your yard with summer-long color with Endless Summer hydrangea. This variety reblooms, bearing its blue or pink flowers all the way to frost.

    Name: Endless Summer Hydrangea macrophylla

    Zones: 5-9

  • Bluestar Amsonia 13 of 22

    'Blue Ice' Bluestar

    This showy perennial bears clusters of blue flowers in late spring and early summer -- and offers a bonus show in fall when its foliage turns brilliant yellow. 'Blue Ice' bluestar is a snap to grow and makes a stunning garden display.

    Name: Amsonia 'Blue Ice'

    Zones: 4-9

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    Twilite Prairieblues Baptisia

    Another of the easiest perennials you can grow, baptisia resists heat, drought, and even part shade -- and pollinators love it. This selection blooms in early summer with spires of deep violet flowers over attractive blue-green foliage. It's an extremely long-lived plant that puts on a big, bold show.

    Name: Baptisia 'Twilite Prairieblues'

    Zones: 4-9

  • Iris sibirica 'White Swirl' 15 of 22

    'White Swirl' Siberian Iris

    Contrast the big, bold form of baptisia with beautiful Siberian iris. This perennial's grassy foliage is a perfect complement -- as are the delicate-looking pure white flowers. Happily, Siberian iris is a lot tougher than it looks, thriving in clay and even part shade.

    Name: Iris sibirica 'White Swirl'

    Zones: 3-9

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    Queen of the Prairie

    Native to areas of North America, Queen of the Prairie is a butterfly favorite. In summer, it bears beautiful plumes of soft pink flowers atop 5- to 6-foot-tall stems. The divided foliage is a great contrast to hydrangeas and other plants with large leaves.

    Name: Filipendula rubra 'Venusta'

    Zones: 3-7

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    'Rozanne' Geranium

    'Rozanne' geranium packs more bloom power than any other perennial we know. This vigorous beauty is almost covered in lovely lavender-blue flowers from early summer all the way to frost.

    Name: Geranium 'Rozanne'

    Zones: 5-9

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    Tufted Hairgrass

    Tufted hairgrass is one of the few ornamental grasses that thrives in shade. It looks great, too: It forms a mound of finely textured foliage that turns a wonderful shade of gold in the fall. It's perfect for adding texture to bigger, bolder plants such as hydrangeas and baptisia -- and giving birds a source of nesting material.

    Name: Deschampsia cespitosa

    Zones: 4-9

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    'Northern Fire' Coralbells

    Feed hummingbirds with clusters of bright red coralbell blooms throughout early summer. Even when it's not in bloom, this top-notch perennial looks great with dianthus and hydrangeas thanks to its mounding habit.

    Name: Heuchera 'Northern Fire'

    Zones: 3-9

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    'Firewitch' Dianthus

    Fill your wildlife garden with color and fragrance with 'Firewitch' dianthus. This stunning groundcover bears blue-green foliage and strongly scented raspberry-pink flowers throughout the summer.

    Name: Dianthus 'Firewitch'

    Zones: 3-8

  • Jacob's Ladder Polemonium caeruleum 'Bresssingham Purple' 21 of 22

    'Bressingham Purple' Jacob's Ladder

    Create a delightful textural contrast in your garden with Jacob's ladder's uniquely divided, purple-shaded foliage that looks good from spring to fall. Its purple flowers appear in early summer and delight pollinators.

    Name: Polemonium 'Bressingham Purple'

    Zones: 4-9

  • Next Slideshow DIY Bottle Bird Feeders

    DIY Bottle Bird Feeders

    Make use of a recycled glass bottle and invite birds into your garden with a homemade bird feeder. We'll show you how to make one, while adding your own flair.
    Begin Slideshow »

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