Gardening can bring such joy and self accomplishment to ones life. Over the years its become a wonderful relaxing hobby for me. With each new home comes the challenge for me to convert my existing grass yard into a beautiful garden that will attract birds and butterflies. I begin by designing a master plan on a piece of paper laying out how and when Ill begin removal of the grass lawn and adding trees, shrubs, a water feature or pond then follow through with the final additions of bird houses, bird feeders, bird baths, fountains, and finally the garden art.

Each season I begin by converting 25 to 30% of the grass to landscaping. I begin working with the most open areas of my lawn. Remember to keep things looking natural in appearance. Curving lines help to make the garden seem larger in appearance and its just more relaxing. When selecting the plant material always keep in mind how will this plant attract birds? Will it provide shelter? Will it provide food as nectar or berries? You want a garden that not only attracts more birds but is very enjoyable for you. In a matter of 2-4 years youll have a beautiful garden full of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. Make sure you select a large variety of plants in sizes, colors, and blooms. The more variety you incorporate into the garden the more enjoyment youll get from your garden.

I always bring in water features and a pond. Its amazing how much pleasure a water feature ads to a garden. The easiest way to bring water to any garden is a bird bath. There are so many to choose from. Depending on your garden youll want to choose the bird bath that matches the landscaping theme. Natural a rock sculpted bird bath or a stand alone pedestal bird bath. However, my personal favorite is a pond with a waterfall. By incorporating moving water not only will it sound pleasing to you the gardener it will attract birds and other wildlife. The pond allows more landscaping by adding water plants to the pond.

The final touch is to bring in a variety of garden art from metal stakes of butterflies placed in flower beds, hanging wind sculpture from trees, or gazing balls. Its a pleasure to be walking around a yard and finding birds and other beautiful creatures showing up on a daily basis that just a year ago prior to landscaping I didnt notice any wildlife at my home. By adding the garden art or sculpture to the garden it adds that finishing touch to any garden. Always remember to take the time to sit back relax and enjoy your new garden. Just think back to when you used to get out your mower and spend hours every week cutting a grass lawn that always looked the same year after year. Now you have a garden that changes season after season attracting more birds and other wildlife to your back yard garden.

Together if everyone will just convert 20% of your lawn to gardens our world would become a greener place to live for both humans and our feathered friends.