Monitoring gardens and spreading the message

Native grasses and flowers are the best! Thanks for sharing.

Welcome to the forum. Your project sounds pretty awesome. Do you have pics?

Right now things look pretty sparse. I have pics of landscape in progress. I am taking phots monthly. Some plants have really thrived and others have died. Then of course there is the battle with the rabbits who like to sit over a plant and eat it to the ground. So much for browsing!
Like Admiral Halsey said, “If you don’t have losses you’re not trying hard enough”. I can post some later.


Today we watched an Egyptian goose escort her 6 goslings to a newly planted bed of daisies at Kirstenbosch. Fenced all round with shadecloth.

This way, where I have made a gap - says mama.


That sounds identical to what I’ve experienced this year… some tragic losses to overpopulation of rabbits and for some odd reason a vole irruption! I was so excited at first, voles are rather cute and I’d never seen one in my suburban yard. Many plant deaths later, I am no longer excited. :(

One thing we did wrong - we tried “Leaving the leaves” this year and didn’t do any fall yard cleanup for overwintering insects. But this seemed to create the perfect environment for the voles to tunnel through, especially if it got a layer of snow on top. Sadly I don’t think we will be doing that again.
However I must remind myself that we have had some great successes too with our plants maturing. My rain garden is entirely filled in and many plants are blooming for the first time.

You can make a project with a boundary or border at the edge of your yard. I want to, but haven’t figured out hwo that works yet.

One of the issues we have in the US is that some garden stores (Home Depot is a particularly egregious offender) treat all their plants with neonicotinoids. These are incredibly toxic to all insects, and can be absorbed into the plant’s system and extruded out in pollen and nectar. Even seeds treated with the stuff can grow into plants that are deadly to pollinators, and it persists in the soil for ages too.

So people end up buying flowers or seeds to plant in “pollinator gardens” which then kill everything that touches them. It’s truly horrifying.

If you or anyone you know wants to plant things to attract the pollinators, make sure they know about this!


Summer has flown by! Thanks to many pictures, National Moth Week, and decent luck, I’m up to 150 moth species and 175 Lepidoptera at home.

This is the latest lovely Lep Allerastria albiciliatus by Elliott Gordon · iNaturalist (second record for NM)


Sharing a few thoughts and pictures from an eventful summer in New Mexico Musings from an Albuquerque Pollinator Paradise - Pollinator Web

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Hmmm, here in my city everything is different. Vast majority of houses are built with a teeny tiny backyard where hardly a dog fits there, and I’m probably the only in my neighborhood who has tried at least to make a garden out of that, but with mostly non-native common ornamental plants that don’t attract wildlife almost at all. So my garden, although lush in appeareance, is a sterile and boring place with very limited space and not enough wildlife to make a “list” or “species count”.

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but insects and birds, and plant volunteers?

and there’s are always spiders in a house


Not so many in fact.

Um, I don’t get it. Sorry for being that stupid.

In your lush green exotic garden - there will be insects and birds visiting. Then insect predators (as well as the birds).
Plant volunteers are the wild or weedy plants that appear among the ones you chose to plant.

Ooh, I got it. Nooo, not even birds, birds never enter to my “lush, exotic garden”. In the past I used to get ruddy ground doves and mockingbirds sometimes but that was too much, and also the cinnamon hummingbird, but those come when they want and I haven’t seen them here in a long while.

And no, I rarely get insects honestly, other than honeybees and gulf fritillaries.

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And the plant volunteers, even though most of them are invasive weeds, most of the few native plants I have came out by their own and I decided to preserve them.


You can fix that, one native plant at a time.


Lockdown started me on a similar project too. It began just by trying to catalog my insect photos so I could find them more easily but I noticed how many species I’d taken photos of in my garden and started a list. My plot is 27 metres long by about 12-14 metres wide and that includes the house and driveway. We started from bare clay in 2008 and build the house and garden ourselves. I’m a bit behind on logging species right now but the official list stands at 523 identified species, including 36 bird species (with six species nesting in the garden), 18 butterfly species, 28 bee species, and over 200 moths. I haven’t started on plants yet so that list is just animals.
In terms of spreading the word, I use a gardening forum quite regularly where I show my more interesting finds, help people ID things in their gardens and try to increase awareness of gardening without pest control. Quite often people find an insect and assume it’s a pest so helping them to understand more about biodiversity has at least made some small impact.


I’m close to reaching the mark this year. Moths are so varied and fun to find.

Great work!