Our Mission: Grow a network of habitat for songbirds and pollinators in gardens across the Rocky Mountains and beyond, save water for our streams and rivers, and restore our joy in nature every day.
Preview of Coming Habitat Hero Attractions
Since Habitat Hero Award applications are due today, October 15th (yes, you procrastinators, now’s the time to apply!), we thought we’d give you a bit of a preview of the magic that can happen when you transform an otherwise boring yard into a Habitat Hero wildscape.
Bindweed Manor Then…
Long-time readers of this blog may remember that we featured a habitat-garden-in-progress outside Boulder, Colorado, almost exactly a year ago. When we last saw Bindweed Manor, as Pam and Joe Piombino only partly jokingly labeled their property east of the Front Range foothills, the front yard was mainly bindweed, a terrible weed in the clayey soils of the Colorado Front Range, with tufts of smooth brome (a European pasture-grass) left over from when a plains grassland was plowed and seeded for hay pasture.
Passionate birders and members of Boulder County Audubon Society, Pam and Joe could see the possibilities for wildlife habitat. First they built an undulating wall to give themselves some shelter and privacy without obscuring their expansive views.
And then they planted. With the help of a creative designer and a lot of their own sweat and persistence, Pam and Joe transformed that wasteland into a garden that sips water and welcomes songbirds and pollinators.
Just look at those Agastache! You know they had the hummingbirds zipping around and sipping nectar. And the golden yarrow, which draws butterflies of all sorts. In the background by the wall is Blonde Ambition blue grama, with its beautiful seed heads that delight goldfinches and siskins in late fall and early winter.
There’s Missouri evening primrose, its huge yellow flowers still in bloom in early October and a delight to hovering, evening-flying sphinx moths; Russian sage, beloved of bees of all sorts; Smoky Hills skullcap, its deep purple-blue flowers favored by bumblebees; and many other plants that will provide food, shelter and cover for hummingbirds, songbirds and all manner of pollinators. Plus a long season of bloom to delight the human inhabitants.
Congratulations, Pam and Joe Piombino, on transforming your weedy former pasture into beautiful and abundant habitat! We think it’s time to rename the place though: Bindweed Manor no longer applies….
Does your garden, park, landscape, schoolyard, farm or other working landscape provide significant habitat for wildlife, especially songbirds and pollinators? Apply now for the Habitat Hero Awards. As Susan Clotfelter wrote in the Denver Post, among other benefits, you get “a heap of bragging rights”! Applications are due October 15th.