Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Sign of the Times...

What do gardeners do when it's too cold outside to garden?  They think about their gardens... A few years back, I certified my butterfly garden as a Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch, an organization committed to the conservation of this unique butterfly.  The certification came with a price-tag however, and an additional cost to purchase the sign I proudly display in my garden, but I felt my money was going to a cause I feel strongly about... I understand that organizations need a plan or a sales-pitch to support their cause, raise awareness, educate the public... I'm pretty much for anything that promotes the preserving and conservation of our limited natural resources and wildlife.

Mature trees and vegetation provide shelter, 
while a large pond on the property serves as a permanent water source...
As I was remembering the last season and planning for the next, I decided to add another sign to my yard. I'm going to register the The Ranch as a Certified Wildlife Habitat...I thought I would post the steps for this certification and how I qualified for each requirement.  First I need to clarify that I refer to our 7 acre property as The Ranch, not because of the set-up, but the 1978 ranch-style house that came with the purchase!  For your yard, garden or property to qualify, you must meet the minimum requirements below and  provide elements from each of the following areas:
 This can be plant seeds or berries, nectar sources, bird feeders, humming bird feeders, native plants/foliage...

 Pond, birdbath, steam, water feature...

Thicket, rock-pile, birdhouse, log pile...

 Shrubs, vegetation, pond, host plants for caterpillars, bird houses, mature trees...

 Compost, mulch, chemical free fertilizer, soil and water conservation, organic gardening and practices...

My butterfly garden provides native and host plants, nectar sources...

Compost, mulch and chemical-free fertilizer!

Since I meet the requirements, I'll pay the price, purchase the sign and my yard will be added to the more than 136,000 certified wildlife sites across the country!

I'll be supporting a worthy cause and displaying my support of  protecting and conserving wildlife..

For more info on certifying your backyard or garden refer to the National Wildlife Federation's website...


  1. What a large garden you have there.. And pretty hen too!

  2. You're garden is beautiful. I love your Ranch. Just starting to get ours set up but we have a loooong way to go. Love the pics.

  3. Hi Rebecca,
    I can't remember if I've been to your blog before. You left a comment on my blog that was about eating ornamental sweet potatoes, and I didn't publish it yet, because I wanted to reply to you first. If I have been here, either something came up and I didn't get a comment left, or else I forgot to go back and publish the post. Did you follow any of that? LOL

    I love your place! Seven acres would be a dream come true for me. I have our small corner garden registered as a monarch waystation. I've thought about the wildlife one, but our winter water supply is sometimes frozen.

    I'm thinking I'm going to plant more regular sweet potatoes in pots next year, and not as many ornamental ones, since the rabbits ate most of the ones I planted in the ground last year.

    Happy New Year!

  4. I should have checked my email before commenting here. I see you just left the comment about ornamental sweet potatoes today. I have had a list of comments that needed to be approved for awhile, and this evening decided I better take care of them. I only moderate older posts.

    Well, I know I'm scatterbrained. I hope it doesn't get worse as I get older.

  5. Weekend Gardener, Rachel-Thanks! Our gardens are very much "homemade"'s been fun creating and adding something new each year!

    Sue..Thanks for visiting my site! I know I'm scatterbrained at times..I'll blame it on lack of sun in the wintertime!

  6. A good fun blog this and a lovely garden - I really enjoyed the sunflowers and the monarchs as well as the chicmkemns - nbest of luck with the wildlife garden status

  7. That's awesome...good for you...I can only imagine having that much space!

  8. Oops...hit the "submit" button too soon :-) I've always wondered what the requirements were for that, it's really interesting, so glad they emphasize sustainable gardening practices. Do they do any sort of renewal checkup ever?

  9. cats are good hunters there fore protecting chicks from rats



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