Attract Wildlife into Your Garden
Story by Heather Rennalls
Even homes in urban areas not just rural, can attract various wildlife including Bald Eagles. I met up with Ben Porchuk again at the Future Oxford Expo 2017 held in Woodstock on April 20, 2017, where he represented Carolinian Canada Coalition as their Carolinian Zone Ecologist. Over the past ten years, Ben has grown about 200 species of woodland, wetland and prairie native plants at his East London home where he conducts free Native Plant Garden Tours. (Donations are accepted to In The Zone Gardens Program) On these tours Ben provides insights into urban ecology and highlights the wildlife interactions that have occurred on his site over the years.
A canopy of Mayapple plants in Ben Porchuk’s front yard.
After taking out the grass in his front yard eleven years ago, Ben has grown: Jack-in-the-Pulpit; white cedars; False Solomon Seal; Wild Columbine; Bloodroot; Eastern Flowering Dogwood; spice bush; red and white trilliums; Yellow Birch trees and wild ginger just to name a few. Ben explained that planting native vegetation attracts native insects to the garden.
Some of the major groups of insects in Ontario include the following:
- Dragonflies & damselflies – indicators of healthy freshwater habitats and adults eat mosquitoes;
- Mayflies – food source for many fish;
- Grasshoppers, mantises & crickets;
- Bugs like Aphids & plant hoppers;
- Butterflies & moths – important pollinators;
- Beetles – like June beetle, ladybird beetle and fireflies, pollinators and recycling of animal dung and dead animals;
- Flies – pollinators and recycles dead carcasses back into the environment;
- Ants, wasps and bees – important pollinators of many agricultural plants and fibre crops (Source)