Gosling Wildlife Gardens 2

Chickadee on persons hand with seeds

Garden Two: The Lawn

Map of the Gosling Wildlife Gardens

You enter this garden by passing through a shrub border that is a source of nectar throughout the growing seasons. This 'garden' is the typical landscape of most backyards and it shows a distinct contrast to the other four gardens. Our maintenance here consists of mowing and weeding but no chemical spraying. Most lawn sprays kill all plants that are not grass, reducing the diversity of an already impoverished habitat.

The house would be located on the north or left side of the trail. The wall of conifers and shrubs behind this house offers a good source of berries and cover for many birds and small mammals.

Lawns are a component of four of the five gardens and are very important for family recreational activities as well as to wildlife. Some wildlife species have adapted to this new habitat. Robins, starlings and chipping sparrows hunt for insects and earthworms here. Skunks dig up and eat June beetle larva that feed on the grass roots. The large white pine already offers shade and the needled carpet below provides some visual change from the lawn.

Needless to say, this "garden" is not as biodiverse or as attractive to wildlife as the other four gardens. It does, however, provide us with a good spot to feed our birds without squirrels getting up onto the feeder (they get lots of spilled seed on the ground). This makes Garden Two the perfect place to hand-feed chickadees.

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For more information about the Gosling Wildlife Gardens or to make a donation, please contact arbor@uoguelph.ca.

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