The Q&A Archives: Low Water Perennials for Birds, Bunnies

Question: I put out a quail block every Sunday and have a bird bath top (on the ground for the bunnies) just under my front picture window. My cat and I love watching the bird, bunnies and an occassional coyote pup drinking the water and chomping on the quail block. It is a small area between an organ-pipe cactus on north and my house on south. I have tried planting lantanas but they eat them. They dig in the dirt I guess to cool off. I would like to create a nice environment for them. The area is about 20' wide and 4' deep. I was thinking of using an edging like used to keep grass from flower beds to create a 4

Answer: It sounds as though you've already built a nice habitat for the wildlife. I would add some native grasses - the most popular grasses for High Desert gardens are Blue Grama, Side Oats Grama, Plains Lovegrass, Green Sprangletop, Cane Beardgrass, Arizona Cottontop, and the Muhlys (Muhlenbergia). These will provide food for the birds and nesting places, as well. They are drought tolerant once established and are clumping rather than spreading grasses, which will keep them from wandering into the rest of your yard. Bunnies get most of the water they need from the foliage they consume so don't expect them to drink at a watering hole. The birds will be happy with the water that puddles in the basins around your plants. I wish you continued success with your wildlife habitat!

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