Wildscaping is a movement that's caught on around the world. Wildscaping.com, on the other hand, is two people: Trish and Chris Meyer. Our interest in gardening for wildlife grew out of a desire to attract more birds, butterflies, and other critters to our own garden.
We ran a motion graphics design studio out of our home on a third of an acre at the foot of the Santa Monica Mountains in Sherman Oaks, a suburb of Los Angeles. In the summer of 2008, we moved to Sandia Park, New Mexico to begin a new chapter of our lives. Our work requires us to spend a lot of time in front of computers; what could be a nicer break from technology than walking to any nearby window and seeing birds bathing, butterflies floating by, or any of a number of unpredictable wild, natural events?
Development has displaced habitat for many native species of fauna and flora, so on our property we declare a truce: We get the building, and the wildlife gets everything else. In our Sherman Oaks garden, we removed all the ivy, juniper and other “junk” from our property, and replanted mostly native trees, shrubs and flowers that are thriving with little care and water.
We didn't start out with much gardening experience between us; we learned as we went along from attending workshops and reading as many books as we could find on California native plants. We weren't afraid to make mistakes, we just changed our plan as the wildlife taught us which plants they really liked best. Even the plants stated their own preference one way or the other for the north-facing slope that can be a bit shady in winter and boiling hot in summer.
Eventually our garden contained hundreds of different species and varieties of plants, including over 100 varieties of salvias and a 12' x 15' greenhouse for propagation. We planted almost exclusively California native plants as well as drought-tolerant Southwestern and Mediterranean species, virtually all chosen because they provide food or shelter for animals, birds, and butterflies.
As you can see from the buttons along the top, our interest in wildscaping has broadened to include speaking to various groups and photography. We're more than happy to share with you what we've learned.
Our Sherman Oaks garden is now in the hands of new home owners, and we are embarking on a new adventure gardening in the high altitude of the East Mountains of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The winters bring a few inches of snow, and the critters include bunnies and gophers galore. But the birds and stars are amazing...
Chris and Trish Meyer