Observation: Usage and Wildlife

Usage

Think about how your garden is used. Are there some areas that clearly get more traffic? Are there other areas that get looked at but once a year? Be honest in your assessment. 

Break your space into zones. What zones are you in at least once a day? One or two times a week? One or two times a month? How about once or twice a season? You know the spots. You cut back the volunteer elms in the spring and fall as a courtesy to your neighbors. Are you surprised by what you see? Does distance correlate to frequency?

Wildlife

You certainly don’t have to map wildlife, but it is one of the best indicators of the health of your space. And by wildlife, squirrels don’t count. They don’t need much. What you really want to map are areas that you find a lot of wild birds, bees, native bees, butterflies, caterpillars, snakes, frogs or toads, etc. The more diverse and robust your ‘critter list’, the more complete and healthy your little ecosystem is. Keep this in mind while you are plotting any changes. Maybe it’s not worth cutting down that hedgerow if it keeps the birds safe during bad weather. The decision is yours, of course. Maybe you plan to bring in more wildlife. Take clues from the areas of your space that may already have a good variety of fauna.

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