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“Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other “-cides” don’t fit into a bird-friendly yard. They may or may not directly affect the health of the bird, but they definitely kill off the insects that birds depend upon. They can also alter the balance of organisms in the soil and affect natural cycles. Banish the bottles from your yard care routine and your birds will thank you.” Sally Roth in the book Bird-by-Bird Gardening.

pesticide free zone

Perhaps I should put up this sign too! You can read more about the benefits about being pesticide free and order yard signs from the Pesticide Free Zone organization website.

Ms. Roth is a naturalist, gardener and award wining author. She gives lectures and is very passionate about creating gardens that welcome wildlife. She is a contributing editor for “Birds & Blooms” magazine. Sally and her husband Matt live in the Rocky mountains of Colorado. She has written several other books about birds, butterflies and gardening.  And she and her husband have a delightful and informative website called Adventures with Sally and Matt.

This is a garden we installed several years ago for a couple from Canada that were avid bird watchers.

This is a garden we installed several years ago for a couple from Canada that are avid bird watchers.

I talked about the things you need to become a wildlife habitat in my Wednesdays blog. Being all organic means no pesticides. There was a time when I did use them and even had the house sprayed regularly for roaches and ants. But the more I read the more I decided that having these chemicals in my environment was not healthy for my family or my pets. At first I had more insects I didn’t really care for. Now that we are a local bird cafe and lizard lounge I see fewer and fewer insects. I still have too many mosquitoes which is why I am now trying to attract bats!

Since I am not native to Houston several years ago I took some classes at the Houston Arboretum. One focused on gardening for the birds. It was excellent and I learned a great deal about our local bird population. We were recommend several books in the class. One was Bird-by-Bird Gardening, it has been a great resouce book for me as a designer and gardener. I recommend it in my blog Garden Quote – Francis M. Chapman, …bird songs. I have several other books by Sally Roth, another one from the class was The Backyard Bird Feeder’s Bible: The A-to-Z Guide to Feeders, Seed Mixes, Projects and Treats (Rodale Organic Gardening Books) by Sally Roth.

This is in the same garden as above. It is a second water source.

This is in the same garden as above. We added two sources of water, native plants and several varieties of small trees that fruit or seeds.

I hope this weeks posts inspire you to turn your garden into a wildlife habitat too : )

Happy Gardening!