Creating a meadow of native plants that feed birds and invite pollinators or beginning with a container garden of native plants can be an exhilarating and rewarding project. First you have the satisfaction of restoring disturbed landscapes and helping to arrest the collapse of birds, insects and pollinating species while reconstituting soil and protecting underground watersheds. But also, the successful result will be extraordinarily beautiful.
TURNING LAWNS INTO MEADOWS
Two great books by Doug Tallamy:
Bringing Nature Home
Nature’s Best Hope
What we are watching by Doug Tallamy
Restoring the Little Things That Run the World
Why we need to restore landscapes to invite insects, pollinators, birds.
THREE KINDS OF MEADOWS
1_All native grasses & sedges
2_Primarily native grasses with drifts of wild flowers
3_Primarily wild flowers
Let’s Get’s Real about Wildflower Meadows by Tom Weaner
A book to inspire you with gorgeous photography:
Planting in a Post-Wild World,
by Thomas Rainer & Claudia West
A website to inspire you:
2/3 For the Birds
Seed starter kits for native wild-flower gardens:
From The Xerces Society
Replacing our lawns with natives:
A simple first step to replacing your lawn with natives is to smother the lawn with cardboard and wood chip mulch and/or compost in the fall. By spring you can plant directly on top.
STARTING A CONTAINER GARDEN: (link to Getting started)
Pollinator Pathway Container gardening; small spaces; design templates for varied regions/conditions
RESOURCES FOR RE-THINKING YOUR YARD:
1. ECI, Ecological Culture Initiative, Hampton Bays NY.
Plant list for pollinator garden; instructional videos; community based.
2. Westchester NY Land Trust
Lots of tips and information on this site with a compact Spanish language reference guide.
3. Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk
Contact person: Roxanne Zimmer. Educational programs and guidance: Native plants/deer proofing/webinars/fact sheets.
4. Pollinator.org. Regional planting advice; this is the Eastern Broad-leaf Forest Oceanic region.