Taking the “Gardening for Wildlife” Plunge Out West

After two years of having the best weed garden in my neighborhood, I have set out to reclaim our vegetable garden.

Blue Columbine | Holmes Mller

Apparently previous residents in our home had not only had green thumbs, but green fingers and hands — as evidenced by the large garden plot with its own sprinkler system.

I love the concept of gardening, oogle over the items in the Smith and Hawken catalog, support the local food and urban gardening movements, but have never actually committed spade to ground until now…

My first attempt at gardening involved an elaborate plot to fly my friend Dru from Maryland to do our garden. After all, she gloats all summer long about fresh home grown veggies so I don’t see why she can’t work her magic here. However, the impracticalities of the miles between Colorado and Maryland, differences in growing season and varieties–not to mention, not having yet secured Dru’s willingness–made me abandon that plan.

So, now I decide that like Western pioneers before me, I will get close to the land and find my inner gardener and “vegetable whisperer.”

Colorado’s weather is fickle, and we still get snow in the spring, so no planting until after Mother’s Day is the common practice around here. But in the meantime, I bought some tools of the trade, have been reclaiming the soil from the weeds, and making my wish list of veggies to grow–knowing full well that the ratio of seed to plant for a successful edible vegetable is very low, but on I plow.

Then I find out that in May, the National Wildlife Federation is celebrating Garden for Wildlife month, and realize that there are other hardy souls out there at all levels, picking up the spade, buying native plants, and dreaming about the fresh salads they will enjoy all summer long.

So, cheers to all of us for reclaiming those weed patches, planting trees and shrubs for our wildlife pals, supporting the growing local food movement, and getting out there!

NOTE: If you or someone you know lives in the Boulder, CO area, please join us this Saturday, May 14 at the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain Regional Center for our 6th Annual Native Plant Sale. We’ll start at 8am, and go until plants are sold out!

Certify Your Garden as a Wildlife Habitat

Learn more about attracting wildlife to your garden and how to create a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat® >>