Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary
This Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary site, sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, offers wonderful resources for bird lovers and includes suggestions for inviting other wildlife species to your garden. For a small fee you can receive an informational Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary packet containing a list of plants to attract birds specific to your area, tips for attracting butterflies, the right kinds of seeds and feeders, how to design and make bird houses, and an application form to enroll your yard as an official backyard sanctuary.
Send your address along with a $5 check payable to WDFW to:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Program
16018 Mill Creek Blvd.
Mill Creek, WA 98012
Favorite or New Plant
I admit to being a little skeptical when I hear about a "continuously blooming perennial." It always sounds too good to be true. However, Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' and its offspring, Scabiosa 'Pink Mist', are closer than anything else in my garden to being everblooming perennials.
The soft lavender-blue pincushion flowers of 'Butterfly Blue' are among the first to appear in my border, usually in early April, and are also one of the last to finish. 'Pink Mist' has flowers that are a soft lavender-pink. This plant is shorter but otherwise retains all the repeat-blooming qualities of 'Butterfly Blue'. Both are hardy from USDA zone 5-8, very easy to grow, and virtually disease-free. The handsome foliage is deeply dissected and rounded at the edges, adding a nice textural note, especially when used with bolder-leaved plants.
Scabiosas prefer a neutral to slightly alkaline, well-drained soil. I lime around my plants lightly every other year to adjust the pH of my acidic soil. Other than deadheading and regular applications of water, Scabiosas are colorful and carefree additions to my sunny flower beds.