Habitat in the Home Garden

How can home gardeners provide quality habitat for birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife? Carol Heiser, habitat education coordinator for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), offers helpful guidance in her recent article “Earth Day Starts at Home: Plant Layers for Habitat Structure,” posted on DGIF’s website. She recommends establishing a mix of native plants—large trees, smaller trees and shrubs, and herbaceous perennials—in a layered structure that is “the single most important ingredient for supporting a variety of wildlife species.” Heiser is author of the “Habitat Gardening for Wildlife” chapter in the training handbook for Extension Master Gardeners in Virginia and has influenced the knowledge shared by Master Gardeners across the state.