Quotes: Wildlife and ecology in the garden

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Want the kids to grow up seeing birds? Then make the yard safer for our feathered friends. It will also then be safer for this little one to crawl through, touch and enjoy. 

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I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongue.

- The Lorax, a Dr Seuss character -

But there is one place where a person can make choices that will lead in a small way toward greater sanity in dealing with the natural order. That place is the private garden.

- Allen Lacy, in The Inviting Garden -
see What's Coming Up #92

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Seed in a feeder is a draw, true. But real attractions for birds are protein rich insects to feed to their young, clean water, and safe places to roost and nest. Do not use insecticides or herbicides. Do leave at least one area where leafy debris and twigs can accumulate. Then the killdeer may nest among gravel and twigs, and the redwing blackbird stake out a territory in the cattail stalks in a wet swale.


If you want birds in your garden, you gotta have bugs for them to eat. No bugs, no birds. I know my garden is a success when I see holes in the leaves of the plants, because I know I'm feeding the birds.

- Neil Diboll, Prairie Nursery -
see What's Coming Up #95


Never give up listening to the sounds of birds.

- John James Audubon -

Little birds make a big woosh as they all take off at once from the feeder.


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You cannot open to door to a chickadee and close it to other birds. The hawks will come, too, and perhaps the turkeys. Even the cowbird, its young pushing the rightful inhabitants from their nests, has its place.


Everybody says they love Nature, but nobody ever invites her over to their yard.  We mow plant life to within an inch or two of it's life, relentlessly spray toxic chemicals to kill all the bugs, be they good or bad, and then wonder where all the birds went.

- Neil Diboll, Prairie Nursery -

We can plant to suit the needs of the birds and other wildlife that find a haven and a habitat on our home ground, and we can understand that to do so is a moral dictate, not a personal whim.

- Allen Lacy, in  The Inviting Garden -
see What's Coming Up #165

History is rich with tales of the disastrous outcomes of some intentional introductions...

- IUCN The World Conservation Union-
see What's Coming Up #180


Would you chance ruining the whole ecosystem to prevent rabbit damage?

Not all introductions worked well. Rabbits were an unmitigated environmental disaster. Unchecked by any natural predator, they bred at a staggering rate and chewed their way across vast areas of pastureland as well as any garden that came their way. Attempts to control them by introducing ferrets, weasels and stoats did much more harm than good. Although these predators probably killed a reasonable number of rabbits, they also devastated populations of kiwi and raided the nests of flighted birds.

- Bee Dawson, in A History of Gardening in New Zealand -
see What's Coming Up #138

Each bird, animal and insect species has its place. It can be surprising, how easily some may be bumped out of their rightful spots by aggressive non-natives.


When possums were introduced in 1837 to start a fur industry, no one predicted that these Australian neighbours would naturalize with destructive enthusiasm, wreaking havoc on gardens and bush alike. Up to 20 million possums a year were killed during the height of the fur trade, but this barely checked their rapid expansion.

- Bee Dawson, in A History of Gardening in New Zealand -
see What's Coming Up #113


(Send) leafy, leafy collard greens
And please make sure they're washed!

Light up our eyes

Brighten our lives
With ten banana squash.

Turtle grocery list - William 'Bud' Luckey -

  Nature will bear the closest inspection.
  She invites us to lay our eye level with
  her smallest leaf, and take an insect's
  view of its plain.

- Henry David Thoreau -


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Top, left: hardy gladiola (Gladiola byzantinus).
Above: Dog day cicada.
Right: Dutchman's breeches (
Dicentra cuccullaria).
















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