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Old 10-31-2013, 01:35 PM   #1
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Default CA- Native Plants for Wildlife

Native Plants for Wildlife
Nipomo Native Garden
by Larry Vierheilig

Native Plants for Wildlife
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California native plants support a broad range of animals including insects, birds, small mammals, and reptiles. By planting a variety, these plants will offer food, shelter, and habitat year round. The showiest of these animals, for me, are birds and butterflies. These are a delight when they live in your garden providing magic for the eyes and topics for conversation. And, they appreciate the plants you provide also. During certain times of the year, food sources for these animals become pretty scarce.

Providing habitat is also a benefit. Many of the local insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals assist the gardener in keeping unwanted pests from totally destroying the garden. Among these beneficial animals are Gopher Snakes (I could use a truckload of these), Western Fence Lizard, California Horned Lizard, Coastal Sagebrush Lizard, California Thrasher, House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, Hummingbird, White-crowned Sparrow, spiders of all types, Praying Mantis, Opossum (loves snails and slugs); you get the general idea. With that said, let’s start with plants that provide food and habitat during the winter.
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WINTER
This can be the leanest of times for many animals. Food in the form of nectar or berries is minimal; hence many animals migrate or hibernate. Many can do neither and need a reliable food and shelter source. Providing that in our backyards is the best of both worlds, for us and the animals. Some native plants that provide both are…
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