Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
You don’t need a certificate to attract wildlife, of course, but more than 150,000 wildlife gardens across the country have been certified through the
National Wildlife Federation’s online process, and I’m proud to be among them. The plants in my garden provide food and shelter for all kinds of wildlife.
Birds and butterflies like the same things most gardeners do — pretty flowers, fresh water, shelter from the sun and wind, and a pleasant place to raise a family. When you feather your own outdoor nest with colorful flowers and handsome trees and shrubs, you’re inviting birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to make themselves at home, too.
Millions of gardeners are planning and planting for wildlife, says David Mizejewski, a naturalist at the NWF, and, in the process, they’re learning about the intricate and important relationships between humans, animals, and the environment.
“I don’t think the average American gardener is going to say ‘I want toads in my yard,’” Mizejewski says, “but if we can get them started with flowers and birds and butterflies, if they take the first baby steps, those people will get engaged.”
Good wildlife-garden design requires diverse plantings, says Alan Branhagen, horticulture director of
Powell Gardens, near Kansas City. It includes ground-cover plants, flowers, shrubs, understory trees, and canopy trees — the elements of what he calls the “planting pyramid.”
Branhagen’s garden, a NWF wildlife habitat, also is registered with the North American Butterfly Association and Monarch Watch as a Monarch way-station. He plants mostly native plants, which in general support more wildlife than non-native plants. He does not use pesticides.
Butterfly milkweed is one of the most important plants: the leaves of this plant are the only food of monarch butterfly caterpillars. Milkweed flowers, which bloom from spring through summer, also support many other butterflies and pollinators. Columbines, coreopsis, black-eyed Susans, and ornamental grasses are some other great plants for wildlife gardens. In fall, asters and goldenrods are among the best plants for butterflies, birds, and pollinators of all kinds.
My wildlife habitat is wildly successful. I follow the seasons in my garden not just by the progression of the flowers that bloom, but through the lives of butterflies, birds, spiders, praying mantis, and even turtles. I’ve learned to keep an eye out for box turtles in shady spots in the flower beds, and to follow the wrens as they hop through the garden until I spot their nest. Last summer, I discovered a rough green snake that liked to hang out in the crape myrtles along our lane, and one day I saw a pair of bats sleeping through the day in a magnolia tree.
A small brush-pile or two is a good thing in a wildlife garden: birds find insects and nesting materials among the twigs and branches, and turtles sometimes hide at the bottom of a brush heap. It doesn’t have to be very big; the next time you’re pruning shrubs (use sharp loppers, such as
Fiskars Quantum loppers), pile up the trimmings in a loose heap. Even a few pieces of firewood, stacked log-cabin style, provide shelter and food for birds. Place your brush heap where you can see it from indoors.
When I watch the butterflies flit from the coneflowers to the phlox, and follow the flight of hummingbirds as they race from the honeysuckle to the beebalm, I also think about my own place in nature. Every species has its role, says Douglas Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home. Wildlife gardening, he says, “is a way to show that you believe in tomorrow.”