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Winter Insights: Food for Friends

Winter is the time when gardens go to sleep and get ready for their next grand performance. Growth gives way to dormancy and food sources become scarce for the foragers of suburbia. Squirrels and chipmunks stow away acorns and birds fly south for a much needed vacation. Winter is a time for preparation.

As stewards of the land, it’s important that we think of the landscape as an ecosystem and not just a colorful composition of plants and connecting hardscapes. The landscape can be beautiful, but it also serves a vital role in the survival of creatures that call it home.

In the weeks leading up to winter, survey your landscape and figure ways to help our tiny friends of the flower beds. For example, consider leaving your perennials uncut for birds and other animals to snack on. Hold off on raking up those pesky acorns, so the squirrels and chipmunks can fill their pantries. Waiting until spring to cut your ornamental grasses will offer small animals a place of refuge when the weather turns.

Treat your ecosystem right and it will deliver many rewards.