Southern CA Wildlife Paradise
A Spectacular Success Story of Habitat Gardening: From weeds and rocks to Wildflowers and Wildlife.
One of our members named Neil lives in Buellton, California. He built a new home there about seven years ago, and had plenty of space. But he wasn't satisfied with his acreage, so set about working hand in hand with nature to turn his land into wildlife habitat.
The results speak for themselves. Today, when people visit, they all call his paradise-like landscape beautiful. And his other guests, the wildlife, call it home.
Wildflowers: All over the property, Neil enjoys blooms from various wildflower species he has planted over the last few years. In the photo above, Annual Lupine (Lupinus succulentus), "Rocket Larkspur" (Delphinium ajacis), and multicolored Baby Snapdragon(Linaria maroccana) join with native California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica) to make a magnificent scene.
Here’s the story in the words of the man who created this wonderful living habitat:
“When I opened the back door of the new house I saw nothing but weeds and potential. The sight beckoned me to come and involve myself with...?
I had no idea what I was going to do. But I knew that it could all be changed, improved. I observed some birds, lots of weeds, some oak trees, lots of weeds, some native plants, lots of weeds.
I very much wanted to increase everything but the weeds. In fact, I wanted to get rid of the weeds, plant more oaks, natives and wildflowers, and thereby create a wildlife habitat. And over the last seven years I have done just that.
I've gone from not really knowing what I was going to do, to having a clear idea and a moving goal. As the surroundings have progressively "told" me what I needed to do next, I have learned a lot from the whole experience. And I am still learning every day. From the first day of "opening the door" and seeing the empty (weedy) canvas, to learning to think in "zones" (a necessity for any gardener), to beginning to create the habitat, to seeding the initial plants, to learning what works and what doesn't, to re-learning everything.
This wonderful microcosm of life has been a generous and benevolent teacher. And to be able to observe the incredible results of nature's perfect work, the plants and animals, birds, bugs, butterflies and beauty- I feel privileged to have played a role and been blessed to partake in it.
Every day of looking out the door is now a delightful viewing of nature's gifts. Bunnies playing and eating, birds bathing and sipping, plants at times dormant, at other times bursting with energy and color, the ever-changing canvas of nature's bounty in my own backyard.”
Creating Habitat with Seed from American Meadows
Neil used both Mixtures and Individual Species from our Wildflower Seeds for the Southwest, his region. Many Habitat Gardeners begin with our Wildlife Habitat Mix which includes grasses favored by wildlife, but whatever wildflower mixtures will do well on your property will be a good beginning. Then simply choose individual wildflowers you like or those you see in your area naturally, and continue your planting, season by season. Click here to go the list of wildflower mixtures and species for your region, and find exactly the right ones to grow in your meadow garden.