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Xerces Society

Grow Native Gardens

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2 - Rain Garden

Homegrown National Park

In 2017 I read “Bringing Nature Home” by Dr. Doug Tallamy. I had always been an avid gardener and thought I had natural wild areas in my yard and was supporting wildlife. But after reading the book I discovered that my yard was in large part non-native with Japanese Honeysuckle, Canada Thistle, English Ivy, Pachysandra, Kwanzan Cherry, Japanese Maple, etc.

I learned that these non-native species do not provide food for wildlife, specifically caterpillars which feed the baby birds. This led me to start transforming my yard into a wildlife habitat using species native to New Jersey in particular.

Dr. Tallamy’s latest book, “Homegrown National Park” reinforces these concepts.

As luck would have it my property retained many of the original trees on the lot, consisting of native Maples, Oaks, Elms, Eastern Red Cedar, Boxelder, and Hickory, so I had a good base to start with.

Each year I reduce my lawn, add beds and ponds and am rewarded with a plethora of bees, butterflies, birds and frogs among others. I hope you gain inspiration and ideas from wandering my wildlife habitat!

Michael Jacob