backyard

Out My Backdoor: Persimmon: the Forgotten Wildlife Food Plant

Persimmons (Terry W. Johnson)

By Terry W. Johnson

One of my favorite wildlife food plants is the common persimmon, a plant that I haven't showered with much attention. In fact, the only thing I have done for this small tree in more than three decades is save it from the bulldozer when my wife and I built our home. In spite of this lack of tender loving care, it is a valuable addition to my home landscape.

Out My Backdoor: Ironweed, a Native Beauty

By Terry W. Johnson

Now that September is here, it won't be long before the Georgia countryside is ablaze with fall foliage. While it is true that this collage of reds, purples and yellows is the main act during Mother Nature's autumn extravaganza, it is preceded by an opening act that is also quite spectacular in its own right.

This is the floral show put on by our native fall wildflowers. While everyone is familiar with one of the stars of this show, the goldenrod, a number of other flowers are also stunning. One of these native beauties is the ironweed.

Bat Houses

Want to evict bats from your house without leaving them homeless? Or maybe you just want to attract bats to your yard for some natural pest control? Put up a bat house!

Out My Backdoor: Beautyberry Blends Show, Sustenance for Backyard Wildlife

By Terry W. Johnson

In recent years, a native shrub named the American beautyberry has been making a transition from Georgia's woodlands to backyards throughout the state. It is remarkable that it has taken Georgians so long to realize that this native shrub is both an attractive addition to our home landscapes and a valuable wildlife food plant.

Out My Backdoor: Black Bluebirds and Other Backyard Oddities

By Terry W. Johnson

I learned a long time ago that when it comes to wildlife, never say never. Over the years I have answered a lot of calls from folks reporting unusual things going on in their backyards. Now, I'm not talking about the behavior of their neighbors or little green men. What I am referring to are the sightings of rare animals or wildlife engaging in seemingly bizarre behavior.

Out My Backdoor: Invite the State Bird to Your Backyard

By Terry W. Johnson

I have a question for you: What is the state bird of Georgia? Is it: a) northern bobwhite; b) cardinal; c) northern mockingbird; or, d) brown thrasher?

Times up. If you guessed the brown thrasher, you are right. On March 20, 1970, after a 35-year campaign waged by The Garden Club of Georgia Inc., the Georgia General Assembly designated the brown thrasher as Georgia's official state bird.