An edge is where one type of habitat meets and blends with another and the two merging habitats create a distinct third edge habitat. Different species of wildlife thrive in each of these environments. Edges are wonderful examples of biodiversity in action. Wildlife loves to live on the edge! Your property may not have room for a large edge, but even on a small scale you can achieve great results.
• An edge doesn't have to be large to attract wildlife. A few trees surrounded by a ring of shrubs, then encircled by wildflowers and grasses, and finally bordered by an open lawn is quite satisfactory. Such an arrangement provides several small edge environments for wildlife.
• If you're cramped for space, you can plant edges just at the sides of your backyard, where some trees may already grow. If you plant borders of shrubs alongside them, then wildflowers, grasses, and open lawn, you'll create small edges for a wonderful array of wildlife.
• Make the most of a small space with the help of the "layered" look! Plant trees with vines twining up their trunks and with shrubs below, then surround them with a final layer of native grasses and wildflowers.
• It's important to arrange your plantings so they provide maximum benefits for wildlife. Food, water, and shelter must be available nearby. As well, wild animals are more likely to use a food source if they have an escape route; they know better than to get caught in the middle of an open lot with nowhere to run and hide!
• Water the plants, shrubs, and trees in your edge habitat regularly until they're well established.
• Weed out any undesirable vegetation.
• See "Plant Project Maintenance Tips" for further suggestions.