Hi, I’m Alicia, creator of A Wild Garden.
A Wild Garden is a blog for beginning gardeners and pros alike, to come and learn more about the art, science, and beautiful details of gardening for nature: native plants, butterflies, dragonflies, toads! masses of flowers, bumblebees, fireflies! The list of insects and animals we can bring to our gardens goes on and on, because right now they are all really looking for a home. If you are interested in creating a garden full of life, you are in the right place.
Why would you be interested in creating a garden full of life, you ask?
The Simple Answer:
The typical backyard and front yard are really, truly boring and mostly devoid of life. The world, your world, can be so much more beautiful and interesting, simply by creating a space to reconnect with some flowers, some insects, some animals, and a little wildness.
The Longer Answer:
A typical backyard is something like this: You walk outside to a deck/patio that leads to a mowed lawn, and then maybe there’s a tree and some questionable grass. Around the edge of the backyard is maybe a fence with maybe a few little bushes. Do the kids want to play outside? No, the kids don’t want to play outside! And it’s no wonder. Outside is very boring. Grass, dirt, bush. Nothing to see, nothing to do! I feel bored even writing this paragraph -sorry.
For kids and adults alike, there is something so much better than a lawn -it’s a space filled with life. And simply saying, “It is so much better,” does not really even begin to convey How Much Better It Is. Sitting in a garden with flowers blooming and butterflies swirling around your kids, is like finally your parched soul is getting a drink of water. Dry cracked soil is darkening with rain drops, the broken world of nature is healing a little bit, in your place, because you planted some flowers, and feeling that connection is so deeply peaceful.
To bring back this world of life, we start with native plants, the base of every wild food chain. And so, A Wild Garden, focuses on natives, telling their stories: who do they support in the web of life, who eats their leaves, who needs their pollen? The answers are more beautiful and interesting than you might think.
If you have seen headlines in recent years like:
-The New York Times, November 27, 2018
Plummeting Insect Numbers ‘Threaten Collapse of Nature’
-The Guardian, February 10, 2019
Bugged: Earth’s Insect Population Shrinks 27% in 30 Years
-AP News, April 23, 2020
You may have felt startled, a sense of dread, and then no idea what to do. Do you call your senator? Send money to the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation? (not a bad idea!) The fact is, the best thing we can do to turn around “The Collapse of Nature” (when you hear that, you just kind of want to turn that thing around, right?), one of the most helpful things we can do is calmly plant some flowers, plant by plant, turn our yards into sanctuaries -safe, abundant places that support life.
A Wild Garden aims to inspire and help you create space in your yard or community where you can create four season sanctuary gardens for you and all the life you want to invite to your place. What do the birds really need in your garden?! Bumblebees? Turtles?! Crickets??!! I try to answer these questions and many more.
I am Alicia, the crazy gardener behind this blog. If it sometimes sounds like I am yelling when naming off lists of animals and insects, it is probably because I am actually yelling, on the inside (in a nice way). My educational background includes a masters degree focused on Pollination Ecology and I have been teaching Environmental Science and gardening with native plants for many years. After exhausting the people in my mid-west town who would listen to me talk about native plants and insects, I have taken to the internet.
All of these creatures are still here, waiting for us to make a space for them. If I didn’t believe we could rewrite our relationship with nature, I wouldn’t be encouraging you to try. But I know we can do this because adding a little wildness to our yards and homes is so much better than life as we’ve known it. It is more fun and more beautiful. It is more life.
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