|Wednesday What's New: Backyard Wildlife Habitat|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Wednesday, 28 November 2012|
Design with nature using native plants, and you too can create a backyard wildlife habitat worthy of certification from the National Wildlife Federation. That’s what one Florida couple did--and created a beautiful garden as well. In fact, what started out as a home improvement project with a goal of planting trees, plants, and flowers native to Florida turned into something even better than they imagined--a spectacular backyard habitat populated by egrets, owls, blue herons, and wild turkeys.
Frank and Nancy Harris bought an acre and a half property in somewhat rural Grant-Valkaria, Florida three years ago and knew very little about native plants and wildlife habitats. With the help of the University of Florida - Brevard Extension Office started researching plants indigenous to Florida. The Harrises also took it upon themselves to remove any exotic plant species they came across such as the Brazilian pepper tree.
According to Mr. Harris, the yard, which also includes a pond complete with aquatic ferns, cattails, catfish, bass, and freshwater mussels, is very low maintenance and essentially takes care of itself. He also noted that even though there's an irrigation system in place, it's not necessary to use it more than once every couple of weeks.