An Edge for Beauty and Function

Creating a habitat for small wildlife, while at the same time designing a garden for beauty and outdoor living is not difficult.  However, it does require knowledge of two things the animal species that can be expected to move into your garden suitable plants that make good companions

Edge is the natural type of environment desired by many small wild creatures.  It is the perfect habitat for this type of ecosystem because it provides  2 of the 3 basics that are needed. Edge is plentiful in variety of flowering and fruiting annuals and perennials, providing food.

Edge provides enough plant density to provide cover as protection from predators. and nesting and breeding sites for raising young.
The third essential element for a backyard wildlife habitat is water.  If you do not have a pond or nearby source of water, you will want to add this element through the addition of such features as ponds or bird baths.

Requirements for good plant companions:

Sharing similar or symbiotic cultural needs:  similar needs are in the areas of soil type, preferred acidity and moisture requirements; symbiotic relationships are created when one plant helps to create a more favorable environment for another. (Large shrubs or small trees may provide afternoon shade for an understory plant that is unable to tolerate sun during the heat of the day.  A groundcover may cool the roots of a plant while leaving the top of the plant fully exposed–conditions particularly favorable to the clematis vine.)