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If you build it, they will come!

They say cleanliness is next to godliness… but Mother Nature certainly wouldn’t agree!

It may look messy, but a brush pile – an accumulation of branches of various lengths, dead leaves, a few logs, maybe other vegetable waste – makes an excellent shelter for a whole host of garden friends.

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All sorts of interesting animals will be attracted to a brush pile.

For example, small birds will shelter there in bad weather and many butterflies look for exactly this kind of habitat so they can overwinter. Toads, shrews, ground beetles and other nocturnal animals will find a brush pile an ideal spot to spend the day. And woodpeckers come to feed on larvae hiding under the bark of the dead branches.

You don’t have to place your “wildlife brush pile” in full view if you fear that your neighbors may complain. Put the pile in a back corner, in a wooded area, or in some other inconspicuous location. Don’t worry: no matter where you place it, your animal friends will find it.

Inviting Nature to Your Garden

It is through small gestures like this – others include planting flowers for butterflies and bees, leaving flower stalks standing in the fall and winter to feed birds, letting leaves remain where they fall in a wooded spot to serve as a hiding place for salamanders and earthworms, etc. – that you can re-invite nature in your garden… and into your life!20160826C

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

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