Thursday, September 9, 2010

Here's Your Sign

Now, Bam, before you get excited that I am FINALLY admitting to be a frequent "here's your sign" recipient. . .that's NOT what I'm talking about!!

Some of you may have noticed the new icon on the left side of my blog. A few weeks ago while looking at another gardening blog, I noticed an icon that stated her garden was a certified wildlife habitat.  I was intrigued and followed the link to the national wildlife federation. I was interested by the information that I found on their site, and found that my own gardens provided everything necessary to be a wildlife habitat--including food (native plants, seed, and packaged food), water (the waterfall and pitcher pump water feature), places for cover (fence post piles, large grasses, native grasses, woody area), and places to raise young (bird houses, vegetation, tree row).  So when THIS came in the mail the other day I was really excited!!
It's my SIGN!! The sign that I ordered to remind myself that I am doing my part to preserve and nurture wildlife!  We hung it on the old elm trunk that we cut down last year.  The intent was to drill some big holes and fill them with peanut butter for the woodpeckers. . .still on the 'to do' list! But I can see my sign from the house windows--as can anyone walking up to the house. 
When we moved to our farm 12 1/2 years ago, it had a cedar tree row, some OLD elm trees, a few cedars in the yard, and 2 lilac bushes. .oh  and a handful of tulips that came up.  That's it!! For a place that has been in existence for 98 years--that just seemed wrong to me!!  I have dabbled in flowers for the better part of my married life, but have only REALLY taken it seriously for the last 5-6 years.  I have since been trying hard to create a habitat that I would enjoy, that my kids could thrive in, and that would attract lots of birds and butterflies to watch.  Slowly, that dream is becoming reality!!  All of the yard cedars and some of the elm trees have been taken out to add a better selection of interest!!  We have added lots of tree varieties including flowering crabapple, ornamental pear, maple, oaks, apple, pine, redbud, smoke, and several varieties of blue spruce.  We have added shrubs including spirea, butterfly bushes, forsythia, lilacs, shrub roses, caryopteris, red-twigged dogwood, crapemyrtle, and privet.  I love ornamental grasses and have planted a number of those as well.  I am also slowly adding to the native plants and xeric plants that will sustain more different types of critters.  Those plants also adapt and thrive in this hot, windy, and drought-prone climate.

The current project is redoing the waterfall of 3 years existence and replacing it with a smallish fish pond and waterfall.  I finally have some vision in my curled head, and a location.  J and I were hoping to get out town soon to collect the necessities to start putting that together.  I keep saying that my projects are "nearly done" but the sad reality may be that they may just be getting started!!

I may be a crazy sucker to pay money just to say my yard is certified.  But I thought the cause was good--and will enjoy a wildlife magazine this next year to boot.  Jeremy's response when I told him that we lived on a certified wildlife habitat??  "Oh great!! Now the EPA will probably come and shut down my shop. .since it is in the middle of a wildlife habitat! Thanks alot!"  Here's your sign!!


  1. Good job creating a wildlife habitat. I think getting the sign is awesome. I haven't taken the steps to do that yet but have thought about it. We support NWF and I learn the most amazing things from their magazine. I loved Ranger Rick as a child but had no idea that was their magazine too until recently. Your garden sounds like a little oasis.

  2. This is interesting, Melanie! I like your sign. :)

  3. Very cool!! and I totally LOL'ed at J's comment!

  4. Ok, J's comment is pretty funny. I like your sign. You've EARNED your sign! I can't believe all you've planted over the years. Impressive to say the least!

  5. Okay...this sign is a good sign!!Very cool!!! Congrats! You do deserve it after all of your hard work.

  6. BTW...I don't think my yard would qualify!!! :o)

  7. Congrats on earning your sign! I loved J's comment.