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Do wildlife-friendly gardens have to look messy?

MARCH 27, 2023
Pruning a rose
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wildlife garden

Native plants are a hot trend among gardeners and homeowners and it's easy to see why! These plants offer a ton of benefits for both people and the environment, including supporting local wildlife, improving soil quality, and reducing maintenance costs.

Despite these advantages, many people are still on the fence about going native. Why? The idea of using native species often brings to mind images of wild, messy gardens that a homeowner's association would never approve of. Honestly, that image isn't entirely inaccurate - natives are from the wilderness and being 'wild' is a part of their nature.

This leaves many homeowners caught between choosing an aesthetically pleasing garden over a wildlife friendly garden. What if we tell you that it is possible to create a wildlife garden that balances beauty with functionality?

In this blog post, we will learn how you can create a wildlife garden that looks beautiful and not messy!

Wildlife-Friendly Garden Ideas: 7 Ways to Keep your Native Plant Garden from Looking Messy

Here are some effective wildlife garden ideas which will help you create a tidy green space, without sacrificing its natural beauty or its functionality:

1. Select the Right Plants

Always keep in mind that not all native species do well in every region. Selecting the right native plant for your local area and garden conditions is essential for maintaining the tidiness of your wildlife garden.

Additionally, it's important to avoid invasive native species that can quickly take over your garden and make it look like an untamed jungle. By carefully selecting the right native plants, you can ensure that your wildlife garden stays beautiful and well-managed for years to come

In order to find the right native species for your local conditions, you can usually refer to a native plant database and filter for your zip code.

Additionally, if you are interested in buying a whole native plant garden, you can do filter for the right gardens for your zip-code on

2. Mass Planting

black eyed susan field

Mass planting is an easy method to create a beautiful and wildlife friendly garden that still looks like a well designed space. Mass planting or drifting involves grouping a large number of single-variety plants to create a stunning display of foliage and colors. This technique gives a more cohesive look to the garden and supports more wildlife as it mimics the way plants grow as groups, in the wild.

You can get started by choosing a few native species that thrive in your region and plant them in groups of three or more plants. Space them evenly and ensure they have room to grow. Over time, the plants will fill in and create a lush garden that requires less maintenance.

3. Create a Focal Point

bridge over a small stream

Focal points can add an extra layer of interest and beauty to your wildlife garden. You can compare this idea with your home's interior design, where you might add an accent wall or a piece of statement furniture to create a special area of interest. Here, we are creating something similar in an outdoor space by using different techniques like highlighting a particular color, shape or texture.

For instance, you can plant a group of differently colored flowers or create a rock garden with different sizes and shapes of stones. You can also add some elements like bird bath, water fountain or bird feeders to create a wildlife-friendly nook in your garden. Adding a bench or some chairs under a tree can give you that resort-like feeling in your own yard.

These features not only add to the overall aesthetics but also create a relaxing atmosphere that can soothe your senses and draw more visitors to your wildlife garden.

4. Divide your Garden into Different Zones

Bird Fountain

Dividing your yard into multiple zones will give it an organized look and help you make the most of available space. By breaking up your yard into distinct areas, you can make sure that each section has a specific purpose and is optimized for the plants and elements that belong there.

For example, you can have a zone for showy flowers, one for family recreation and a few zones marked for visiting birds, beneficial insects and pollinators. This method can help you keep everything organized and ensure that you are choosing the right plants to fulfill each desired purpose.

When dividing a garden into zones, consider the shape and size of each area. You can either have well-planned layouts in square or rectangular boxes, or even go with more organic, flowing shapes to mimic the natural curves in a yard. Mark the boundaries of these zones by using decorative fences, seating elements, water ponds grasses, paving stones or even limestone markings.

5. Add Layers to Your Garden

cottage with flowers and trees

Another essential way to make your wildlife garden look well-designed is to add different plant layers. Layering your garden involves placing plants of different heights and textures in layers to create depth and interest. You can start by planting taller species at the back and work your way forward with smaller plants and eventually ground covers and grasses. This will create a natural progression of heights that will cut out the harshness and will add a better visual appeal to your garden.

In addition to height, also consider the texture of your plants. For example, you can mix native grasses with flowering species to create a dynamic and interesting look to your garden. Also, using edging materials like rocks, bricks and stones in different height proportions will also give a more organized look.

My Home Park does this for you by offering plant collections or gardens that are designed with these elements in mind!

6. Pruning Plants and Mowing Edges

rose pruning

Regular pruning is important to give a clean and orderly look to your garden. Pruning helps in keeping the plants at their desired heights and prevents plants from growing out of control. It also helps in getting rid of damaged and diseased branches and preventing the spread of disease to other plants in your garden.

Also, mowing the edges of native grasses creates a clean border along the pathways and makes your garden look even more defined and organized.

7. Weed Control

Weeds are unwanted plants which can quickly turn your beautiful garden into an unkempt jungle. These plants spread like a wildfire and choke out your precious plants and ruin the overall look and health of your garden. Hence, weed control is an essential aspect for creating a non-messy wildlife garden and cannot be overlooked.

Instead of resorting to harmful chemicals that can damage the delicate ecosystem around us, consider using organic weed control methods. You can try natural techniques like mulching, ground covers like clover and thyme to suppress weeds (these covers deprive them of nutrients and sunlight). In addition, if you spot a couple of weeds in your garden, just act fast and pull them out while they are still young. This action can get rid of weeds before they start producing seeds.

Create an Elegant Looking Wildlife garden with MHP's Plant Collections

My Home Park's pre-designed plant collections offer an effortless way to create a stunning wildlife garden. Using these plant combos, gardeners can achieve their gardening goals without extensive planning or maintenance. All the collections are designed with the consideration of the compatibility of various plant species, varied heights, growing habits and blooming times. Collections are easy to install and grow quickly without demanding too much care.

In no time, we are sure our plant collections will turn your garden into a gorgeous living space for your family and local wildlife. Together, we can also prove that eco-friendliness and aesthetics can go hand-in-hand!

Let's Get Growing!

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