Habitats at Home

Infusing your garden with native wildflowers is a wonderful way to bring birds and butterflies home. Quinta Mazatlan has compiled a list of favorites featured around the grounds of the urban sanctuary and created a beautiful poster.

The plants are beautiful and significantly help wildlife at a time when a small percentage of native plants remain in the wild. The Granjeno (pronounced the gran-hen-oh) is an example of a giving native plant from our region. The evergreen shrub will attract many birds to the sweet fruit in your garden. We have observed Green Jays, Mockingbirds, Cardinals, and Long-billed Thrashers eating the tiny orange berries. The berry-bearing plant appreciates the birds and other animals spreading their seeds.

The Valley enjoys a number of different habitats with more than 1,000 reported native species.  There are plants found here that occur nowhere else in the United States. There is plenty of sunshine, but low rainfall, and most native plants tend to have small leaves.

Quinta Mazatlan narrowed the choice of native plants down to 32 to help gardeners create tiny habitats at home from such a large palette. The beautiful 18” x 24” poster featuring these native plants was designed by Texas Artist Don Breeden and is available in the Nature Store at Quinta Mazatlan.

“We each have the opportunity to provide homes for wildlife by replicating forests on a small scale in our own little spaces,” said Colleen Hook, manager of Quinta Mazatlan.

A must-have native plant for every garden is the popular Turk’s Cap. The red flowering plant provides nectar to support hummingbirds. You will welcome the buff-bellied hummingbirds to your yard, year-round Rio Grande Valley residents, in no time!

When creating your garden environment, include pieces of wood or stumps for shelter and décor. Make sure to add water for the wildlife. Even a simple shallow bowl or a water drip on a rock works wonders! Remember that native plants can coexist with what already exists in your garden. Create a sense of place at home for birds, butterflies, and all living creatures.

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Colleen Curran Hook
Quinta Mazatlán