With a place to find food, water, and shelter in your garden, pollinators and other wildlife will soon stop for a visit.
Our roundup of wildlife-friendly products will help you lure more butterflies, birds, bees, and even toads into your garden to boost pollination, cut down on pesky insects, and enliven your views.
Most gardeners relish the fringe benefits of healthy gardens—birds, butterflies, and other wildlife that pollinate your blooms, eat insects, or simply entertain you with their antics. To draw more action to your garden, install one or more of these feeders, waterers, or abodes. Your yard will come alive in no time, and you can sit back and enjoy the show.
1 BUTTERFLY PUDDLER
Handcrafted stoneware cradling a pool of recycled glass provides a spot for butterflies to load up on their minerals. The shallow well holds sand or rock salt along with a teaspoon of water. After the water evaporates, butterflies come for the minerals left behind. Once discovered, this puddler will entice them to return for more. Butterfly Puddler—uncommon Goods; uncommongoods.com; 888/365-0056; $40
TIP: Place the puddler in a protected, sunny spot.
2 NO-WASTE BIRDSEED
Avoid weeds and sprouts under your bird feeder with a high-quality mix of seeds and hulled nuts bound to keep the feeding area clean. No-waste Blend Wild Bird Food—audubon Park;
for local retailers or
206/957-1350; $14.99 for 5-pound bag
3 TOAD HOUSE
Invite amphibian friends to linger in your garden, and they will repay your kindness by consuming slugs and harmful bugs. A ceramic sanctuary provides a dark, cool place for toads to hide and escape the hot sun. Toad House— Amaranth Stoneware; amaranthstoneware.com; 800/465-5444; $55.55
TIP: Toad- and frog-friendly sites need proximity to water and protective plants as well as nooks and crannies for hiding.
4 BUTTERFLY FEEDER
Place a tall butterfly feeder, filled with overripe fruit or a special nectar-soaked sponge, near other blooms in the garden and you’ll soon draw a kaleidoscope of fluttering visitors. Butterfly Feeder—gardener’s Supply; gardeners.com; 888/833-1412; $30
5 CERTIFIED MONARCH WAYSTATION
With monarch butterfly populations in decline, support their survival by creating a monarch habitat (and set a good example in your neighborhood). Start with a Monarch Waystation Seed Kit— which includes milkweed and other nectar-rich plant seeds—and apply for certification, resulting in a 9×12-inch sign that designates your butterfly garden as a monarch waystation. Monarch Waystation Kit—monarch Watch Shop; shop .monarchwatch.org; 800/780-9986; $16. Monarch Waystation Sign, $17
6 HUMMINGBIRD FEEDER
While hummingbirds may only fleetingly appreciate the streamlined shape of this feeder, they will relish the bright red color and feeding ports designed to discourage wasps. Plus, the feeders can be linked to create a chain (in case you have a charm of hummers). Remove the red lid in winter to feed other birds. Circle Hummingbird Feeder— Terrain; shopterrain.com; $28
TIPS: Direct sunlight can spoil the nectar, so hang hummingbird feeders in a shaded location, away from wind and cats. Place hummingbird feeders near trumpet-shape flowers to attract more birds.
7 SQUIRREL DETERRING BIRD FEEDERS
Dissuade squirrels from devouring your birdseed with a feeder designed for lighter visitors. A weight-activated perch closes to prevent squirrels from helping themselves. Squirrelbe-gone II Country Style Wild Bird Feeder—perkypet; perkypet.com; 855/737-5973; $38
8 NATURAL BIRDHOUSE
Made from a blend of natural materials including pine sawdust and burned clay, these birdhouses provide a healthy nesting home and will last 20 years or more. The rotproof material breathes like wood, while the brown paint sheds water. Choose among eight different styles for various birds. Schwegler Birdhouse—kinsman Garden Co.; kinsmangarden.com; 800/733-4146; $39.95
9 DECK-MOUNTED BIRDBATH
A heated birdbath made of lightweight thermoplastic will keep birds hydrated all winter. This bath twists off the mounting plate for cleaning, and the heater automatically turns off when temperatures rise above 35°F. Scalloped Deck Mount Bath— Duncraft Wild Bird Superstore; duncraft.com; 888/879-5095; $99.95
10 SUSPENDED WATERER
Provide your winged friends with their very own watercooler experience. Suspend this vintagestyle waterer from a tree branch or shepherd’s hook and see who comes for a sip and a little gossip. Mason Jar Wild Bird Waterer—perky-pet; perkypet.com; 855/737-5973; $17.95
11 BEE HOUSE
Attract peaceful, native bees to pollinate your garden with a streamlined abode made from an upcycled beer bottle, nesting tubes, and a wool felt hanger. Mason and leafcutter bees are solitary and do not produce honey. With no hive to protect, stinging is rare. Their pollinating capacity makes them especially attractive to gardeners. Mason Bee Bottle or Leafcutter Bee Bottle—potting Shed Creations; pottingshedcreations.com; 800/505-7496; $30
DID YOU KNOW:
Mason bees: Spring bees that gather pollen from fruit trees and early blooming shrubs (one mason bee can pollinate as much as 100 honeybees)
Leafcutter bees: Summer bees that pollinate summerblooming flowers and fruits and vegetables
12 SPRING POLLINATOR BULB COLLECTION
Plant nectar-rich bulbs that will attract beneficial insects to your garden next spring. This mix includes multicolor crocus (25 bulbs), brilliant blue Muscari armeniacum
(25 bulbs), ‘Purple Sensation’ allium (20 bulbs), and drumstick allium (25 bulbs). Suitable in Zones 3–8. Spring Pollinator Collection—longfield Gardens; longfield-gardens.com; 855/534-2733; $40
13 SQUIRREL SPINNER
Lure squirrels away from your bird feeders and provide entertainment for the whole family (and a fun challenge for squirrels) with a weight-activated, spinning metal feeder attached to a tree, deck, or fence. See how quickly squirrels learn to go for the bottom ears of corn. Squirrel Spinner— Duncraft Wild Bird Superstore; duncraft.com; 888/879-5095; $49.95