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Sep 20, 2018







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For her butterfly garden, Miller selects plants that are nectar sources for butterflies and host plants for caterpillars. Courtesy photo.




Garden for Wildlife

Where: Hooksett Public Library, 31 Mount St Mary’s Way, Hooksett
When: Wednesday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. 
Cost: Free, no registration required. 
Visit: hooksettlibrary.org/2016/02/01/a-garden-for-wildlife




Let it all grow
Program teaches creating a backyard wildlife habitat

03/03/16
By Angie Sykeny asykeny@hippopress.com



 Find out how you can alter your yard or garden to make it more habitable for wildlife when UNH Cooperative Extension hosts “Garden for Wildlife” at the Hooksett Public Library on Wednesday, March 9, at 6:30 p.m. 

The program starts with a slideshow presentation followed by an open discussion and will cover information on various local wildlife species, their habitat requirements and landscaping and gardening practices you can employ to help them flourish. 
Presenter Donna Miller is an authority on the topic. She is involved with the Co-op’s Master Gardener and Natural Resources Stewards programs, and she owns Petals in the Pines in Canterbury, a 7.5-acre outdoor nature classroom containing 24 theme gardens, over 250 plant varieties and a Monarch Maternity Ward and registered Monarch Waystation. 
“I like doing this talk because it’s basically about [the same methods] I practice at my place here in Canterbury,” Miller said. “A lot of it is just speaking from experience.” 
As man-made structures continue to spring up around the state, she said, many wildlife species are finding it increasingly difficult to locate habitats that fulfill their needs. It doesn’t help that most of the land in residential areas is mowed, raked, sheared, mulched and infused with chemicals, she said.
“A lot of practices we’ve had over the years are things that hurt wildlife,” she said. “We go crazy with our lawn mowers so we can have pristine lawns. If people converted even a portion of their yards to native plants and the environment as it exists naturally, it would benefit wildlife in a big way. You’ll see a huge growth in [wildlife] populations.” 
Anyone can make their yard more friendly to wildlife, regardless of their gardening and landscaping skills or the size of their yard. In fact, people living in urban areas with small plots of land can be of even greater help to insects and small animals than people with large, rural properties. 
“The habitats have gotten more divided over the years,” Miller said. “With disruptions between habitats like highways and shopping centers and things, the wildlife has a hard time getting from place to place. If we provide them with more places to go to, especially in urban areas, it’s really helpful for them.” 
Miller will talk about things you can add to your yard, such as a birdhouse, bird bath or bird feeder, or things you can plant like berry shrubs or flowers for pollinators. But the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to help local wildlife, she said, is to let your yard run wild. Let patches of grass and wildflowers grow freely. Leave some leaves on the ground to decompose. Having a wild yard doesn’t have to mean having a shabby yard. 
“I show a lot of examples, because when I say, ‘Let an area go wild,’ you can still manage it by selecting attractive plants and growing them in garden spaces with a layering [layout] and canopies and trees,” Miller said. “I think natural spaces can be very aesthetically pleasing… and enjoyable when you have the birds and butterflies and all that activity all around you.”





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