Wildlife Plants | NatureHills.com

  1. Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    Are Elderberries Safe to Eat, Or Are They Poisonous?

    People are on the hunt for native plants that produce healthy berries. Today’s homeowner wants to take advantage of plants that provide edible – and ornamental – benefits.

    Elderberry is also commonly known as “Sambucus” and you can find extracts and a dried version in pill form at any health food store. Historically, cooked Elderberry Syrup has been used as chest remedies to treat colds and flu.

    Even though it’s touted for both immune support and to reduce the severity of colds, you may have heard that Elderberries are poisonous.

    Here’s why. The leaves, stems and roots of the plants as well as the seeds in the berries have chemicals which metabolize into cyanide. Eating the raw seeds can cause a build-up of cyanide in the body and make you ill.

    Many edible plants

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  2. Make Your Yard Look Better in Winter

    Make your yard look better in winter by adding certain plants

    Let’s face it: even with the magic of snowfall, the garden can look pretty boring in winter. It doesn’t have to be! Try planting some of these unique plants for winter garden beauty and color. (Bonus: many of these plants offer fabulous visual appeal during the other 3 seasons too!)

    Benefits of a Winter Landscape

    Gardening with winter in mind is tough when you’re surrounded by spring flowers! But planting for winter color and texture is well worth the forethought. Benefits of a winter garden include:

    • Simply pretty. You’ll actually be inspired to look out your window during the winter.
    • Wildlife-friendly. Many of these winter plants double as valuable food and shelter for backyard wildlife.
    • Effortless. Unlike flashy summer flowers, a winter
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  3. Care Tips for Small Ornamental Trees in Your Landscape

    Small ornamental tree by front door

    The first crop that sells out on the Nature Hills site is our super popular smaller ornamental trees. Some customers call them “Patio Trees.” No matter what you call them, we see the trend to use smaller trees in both front and backyard landscapes getting bigger.

    To keep up with the demand, we’ve really beefed up our numbers of smaller, more ornamental trees. After all, they fit so nicely into your landscape, and help you enjoy time spent outside on your patio.

    Short on Space? Choose a Small Tree

    With higher density housing in many areas, modern yards are not huge. Where space is limited, people want to choose plants with more ornamental attributes.

    We’ve talked before about plant trends for more color and more seasons of interest. Plant breeders have introduced selections of high

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  4. Flower Gardens Bring Butterflies and Beneficial Insects

    Plant Flowering Trees, Shrubs and Plants for Butterflies

    Want to know a secret? The key to attracting butterflies, beneficial insects and pollinators is to grow plants that flower.

    Now, you can certainly refine your approach to this, but planting flowering plants is the first step. Bees, birds, butterflies and beneficial insects love blooming plants as much as you do!

    These animals play an incredibly key role in the ecosystem. Declining populations from industrial agriculture and pesticides are wreaking havoc on our fruit, flower and food crops.

    At Nature Hills, we have expanded our plant palate to include many more natives and plants for your yard. You’ll be amazed at the many options to attract these important and beautiful creatures to your yard.

    Get Started Building a Butterfly Garden

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  5. Fall Cleanup to Prepare for Winter Garden Interest

    Before your fire up your weed eaters and trimmers and rampage through your yard cutting down and removing everything in sight this fall, stop! Take a step back. It’s time to reconsider your winter clean up protocol. 

    Let’s take a look and change your perspective to see your winter landscape in a new way. You don’t need to cut everything down. Do you have any perennials or other plants that may offer winter interest if you left them untrimmed until after winter?

    What Does Your Landscape Look Like in Winter?

    Evergreens, ornamental grasses and hydrangeas definitely offer winter interest. Perennials can also add interest to the winter landscape, so don’t be too quick to cut them down. Study shapes, colors and form.

    Not all dormant regions get dumped with snow. Some regions have lighter snowfalls that can highlight and sculpt the snow, cr

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  6. Harvest Time for your Super Berries from the Aronia Plants

    Black Chokeberry plants are native to the upper Midwest and northeast states and into Canada.  There has been a lot of research and breeding going on with the Aronia plants commonly known as Black Chokeberry.  Maybe Chokeberry doesn’t sound so attractive, so some like to call them Black Appleberries. 

    See, the thing about these deep dark berries is that they help to eliminate inflammation in the body and the antioxidant levels are more than 340% higher than blueberries!  Holy cow!

    These deep dark fruits are so easy to grow on super hardy bushes that produce many pounds of fruit each year.  They beauty of Aronia berries is they all ripen at the same time so they can all be harvested now before they begin to shrivel.  They must be pulled from the bushes.  They look like Blueberries in size and similar in color. 

    A

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  7. A Unique Way to Use Strawberry Plants In the Landscape

    Maybe you don't have a vegetable garden at your home, and maybe you don't want to add one now, but check this new idea out:

     Include your favorite strawberry plants in your landscape as a ground cover plant. Beautiful glossy green leaves are just starting to grow in many parts of the country right now. Soon after they start growing their glossy green leaves, they make beautiful white flowers. The flowers come on hard and strong. Soon after the flowers, you will be picking the fruit.

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  8. Health Benefits of Aronia Berries

    Aronia is a hot new superfruit. Sounds better than chokeberry!

    Aronia plants are known as chokeberry plants. We know that name is not very appealing. On the contrary, Chokeberry plants offer multi-seasonal interest with flowers, fruit, fall color, and fruit that persists all winter long.Aronia plants make killer landscape plants, and are most desirable because they are wildly adaptable to sun or shade, and tolerate almost all kinds of soils, even those that don't drain well. Aronia plants have super glossy leaves all season long. In fall, they burst out into shades of red, purple,

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  9. Top 5 Winter Interest Plants

    Winter is the ever-returning friend and foe of gardeners.  You may rue the arrival of Jack Frost every year, driving you inside and sapping all the color from your garden.  But did you know that there are a number of plants that can keep your garden pretty all through the cold season? Looking to liven up your white-washed winter landscape?  Dust the dreariness with one of these winter interest plants:  

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    #5 Arctic Fire

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  10. The Top 6 Best Trees For Wildlife

    6 Terrific Trees for Wildlife  

    Deer in the forest
    1. Quaking Aspen

    2. American Holly

    3. Eastern Red Cedar

    4. Hackberry

    5. Shumard Oak

    6. American Persimmon
    If you’re anything like me, watching a graceful deer stroll across my yard brings a special sense of awe and tranquility to my home. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of welcoming some of nature’s most spectacular creatures to share a part of my life, and having the right trees can be essential to issuing that invitation directly to them.
    One of my favorite choices for wildlife-friendly trees is the Quaking Aspen. Not only is this tree lovely (with its white bark and gently dancing leaves), but it’s also a versatile gift for wildlife. Deer, Elk and Moose enjoy its shade, and love to nibble its leaves and twigs for the nutritional boost it gives them throughout the year. Many animals venture into the Aspen’s stately presence to enjoy its protective shade, and Ruffed Grouse particularly enjoy it for the nesting opportunities it presents.
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