Written by: Kathleen Salisbury, Duke Farms Manager – Education.
As you walk around Duke Farms this fall you might notice the leaves changing color on the trees, shrubs and even the perennials! But as you explore, be sure to take note of the flowers still blooming throughout the property.
Late blooming flowers are essential in a landscape that aims to provide late season food to migrating song birds and insects preparing to make it through a deep freeze in a few weeks. The nectar from these flowers provides much needed energy to insects, while ensuring a crop of seeds and the next generation of native flowers. Insects attracted to these plants and their seeds provide a high energy food source to many types of birds including those that fly south for the winter and those that call Duke Farms home, no matter what the season.
Remember when planning your own landscape as a habitat for wildlife, diversity is key. By ensuring you have many species of native plants blooming throughout the year you will ensure a diversity of wildlife in your garden. The trick to attracting winged wildlife is to make sure they can see your offerings from above. Plant your natives in groupings of three or more, the large area of color will indicate to small eyes above that you have food for them below. Enjoy the autumn color of leaves, wildlife and even flowers at Duke Farms and your own back yard!
Some of the flowers you may see blooming, and should be considered for your home landscape are: