Naturescape Gardens - When You Plant One, They Will Come
A naturescape garden is a garden that welcomes wildlife. Within
Calgary it is quite common to see many varieties of birds,
butterflies, moths, wasps, bumblebees, insects, spiders, hares,
jackrabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and occasionally a frog, garter
snake, fox or skunk.
In planning your own naturescape garden incorporate elements
that attract the widest variety of urban wildlife possible while
providing the basic requirements of food, water and shelter.
Avoid the use chemical pesticides, as these will disrupt the
balance you are trying to achieve.
Water is an essential ingredient to a successful
naturescape garden. It can be as humble as a bird bath or as
elaborate as a pond.
Food and shelter is best provided by the plantings you chose to
have in your garden. As long as your plant choices produce some
type of flower, nectar, seed, cone or fruit, it will become a home
to insects and a food source to wildlife.
The following list of plants will attract humming birds, bees,
butterflies and moths for the nectar, the seed capsules provide
both fresh and winter food for birds, while hares may nibble its
barkand it is a shelter and nesting site for a variety of
- Picea glauca (white spruce)
- Sorbus americana (mountain ash)
- Salix spp. (willow)
- Elaeagnus commutate (wolf willow)
- Potentilla fruticosa
- Delphinium, Opuntia (prickly pear cactus)
- Paeonia spp. (Peony)
- Tagetes (marigolds)
In designing your space keep in mind that you will get the most
wildlife in your yard perimeters, where there are changes in height
from trees to shrubs on down to perennials and groundcovers. Plant
as many different things as you can to bring in a variety of
different animal species. Include some focal points in your
naturescape garden such as:
- A brush pile made of shrub and tree prunings that provide
shelter for lots of wildlife friends, from mosquito eating spiders,
to hares hiding from you.
- A butterfly puddle of exposed damp clay with some salt added to
help replenish needed minerals.
- A bat box, butterfly box or an underground rabbit or hare house
to help these creatures through our hard Calgary winters.
Enjoy your time sitting, watching and listening in your newly
"alive" garden while these natural workers go about their
activities and keep your garden healthy.
In 2006, the Society worked with the City of Calgary's
Intergrated Pest Management team to create a naturescape garden in
SW Calgary. The garden is no longer open to the public but you can
review the design and plant list in PDF versions (found below) and
be inspired to begin welcoming nature's friends into your
Display Garden-Map 174K
This is a map of the Naturescape Display Garden. Numbers correlate
with the Naturescape Plant List (found below).
Display Garden - Plant List 75K
Botanical names of plants are listed in alphabetical order. Common
names are also included.