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Austin Wildscape Landscaping For Wildlife- Hummingbirds, Butterflies and Birds – Part 1

Hello fellow Texas native plants enthusiasts!

We are going to present two recent landscape designs we were commissioned and explain a little bit about them.

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Please note, there are many more plants you can use. We used perennials that not only look aesthetically appealing in a landscape situation but are also relatively easily obtained in Central Texas nurseries. There are many many more plants, especially annuals that are excellent for wildlife but require more overall maintenance and gardening sass (independent propagating from seed as a reliable potted plant sources are scarce and yearly replanting due the plants annual nature, for example).

The trick with attracting various wildlife consists with providing a number of elements:

1. Food – Pollen, Foliage and Berries. It is important to remember that different plants provide those components during different times of the year. It will be much more beneficial to have a bunch of staggered blooming and fruiting to assure an almost around the year sustenance. In all of our wildlife designs we try to mix a bunch of plant families together to brew a truly magnificent wildlife buffet landscape.

2. Habitat to provide cover and protection from weather and predation. Evergreen plants tend to excel in that category.

3. Reproductive areas where various critters could nest and birth.

4. Water. Little ponds, water features or even some plain old birdbaths will provide much needed moisture during our poaching summers.

 

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In this specific design we used 30 different plant variates that will work in unison to provide a bonanza of wildlife activity. Here are the plants we used:

1. Anacacho Orchid Tree. An attractive and drought resistant tree. Completely covered with white blooms at spring. Anacacho Orchid Tree is also highly deer resistant.

2. Texas Redbud. No need introducing this classic and popular flowering small tree. Covered with unique looking pink blooms at early spring. Texas Redbud is a solid pick for any landscape regardless wildlife emphasis.

3. Texas Mountain Laurel. Another classic and a personal favorite of ours. Spring Purple flowering on a beautiful small statured evergreen tree makes Texas Mountain Laurel a wonderful choice. Highly deer resistance. Slow grower. poisonous seeds.

4. Texas Persimmon. Not a real popular landscape tree but a must have for any Wildscape. Very drought resistant. Female trees will bear edible fruit.

5. Texas Sage. Who haven’t seen this plant in Austin? It’s practically everywhere and for a good reason.

6. Gaura. Butterflies adore Gaura and its neat appearance makes you adore it as well in your own landscape.

7. Flame Acanthus. An outstanding shrub that provides food for butterflies and hummingbirds alike. Flame Acanthus has a very long blooming season.

8. Bamboo Muhly. One of our favorite grasses to use ever. Don’t be concerned; Bamboo Muhly is affiliated to bamboo by name only.

9. Big Muhly. An attractive substitute to Pampas Grass. Big Muhly is a very attractive tall ornamental grass that will show its handsome seed heads in fall. Very deer resistant.

10. Cross Vine. An outstanding and vine that is not only flowering but also is a vigorous evergreen. Cross Vine is one of our top vines to use in our design install practice.

11. Coral Honeysuckle. Blooms attract hummingbirds and berries bring in the birds. This semi evergreen is a good pick.

12. Trumpet Vine. Blow the trumpets for this vine as it is an extremely vigorous and aggressive spreader that nourishes hummingbirds.

13. Turk’s Cap. Extremely long flowering period means god little creatures can fatten themselves for a good while. Turk’s Cap thrives both in full sun and in heavy shade.

14. Perennial Winecup. This deciduous ground cover is a larval host plant for the Gray Hairstreak Butterfly.

15. Softleaf Yucca. This yucca, you guessed it, has soft leaves unlike most of the other yuccas. An attractive white bloom will appear in the summer.

16. Twistleaf Yucca. This smaller yucca is a larval host plant for the Yucca Giant Skipper.

17. Little Bluestem. Skipper Butterfly love it and will skipper town just to feast on it during the fall.

18. Butterfly Bush. Its in the name… This god sized shrub will attract a number of different butterflies.

19. Wooly Butterfly Bush. This shrub is like a more surly version of the Butterfly Bush above. Orange flowers.

20. White Mistflower. This great medium size shrub will explode with white blooms during the fall.  White Mistflower attracts both butterflies and hummingbirds.

21. White Honeysuckle Bush. A deciduous good sized shrub that will have white blooms in the spring and red berries in the fall. Birds, bees and butterflies will feast on this water wise perennial.

22. Frog Fruit. An unusual groundcover that thrives both in full sun and full shade. Butterflies love its long blooming tiny white blooms.

23. Texas Wisteria. This extremely drought resistant vine will attract a multitude of insects and butterflies.

24. Texas Lantana. This indestructible tank of plant will provide a very long season of orange yellow flowers from Summer to Fall which butterflies will go crazy over.

25. Cherry Sage. One of our all time favorites. Evergreen, drought resistant and very long flowering. This plant is a must in most Texas native plants scenarios. Highly recommended.

26. Yarrow. This evergreen perennial will grow well in both full sun and heavy shade. Painted Lady Butterfly loves laying its future babies on it.

27.  Fall Aster. Another highly reccomended plant and a personal favorite. Fall Aster’s amazing looking purple blooms that completely cover the plant in fall.

28. Purple Coneflower. A true classic in its appearance.

29. Blackeyed Susan. A compact perennial that graces the landscape with its bold yellow blooms in the summer. Butterflies love dat nectar.

30. Henry Duelberg Sage. Butterflies and Bees love its sweet nectar from its very attractive dark blue flowers.

So what can you do now, you might ask? Well, most of those plants are easily obtained all over Central Texas so you might make this design your reality in a week. You can get some good books to further deepen your knowledge about Texas native plants in general and wildscaping in specific. You can get a design from us that will set you back a few hundred rupees or contact us for your free estimate for a full blow design-install from scratch to beautify your own property.

 

That’s it for today, Part 2 will be presented in a week from now,

Thanks and hope y’all have a wonderful weekend,

Reed

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