Attract these friendly creatures to your backyard with simple garden ideas.
Welcome blue jays and robins with a homemade birdbath. Rest a ceramic plant tray without a drainage hole on an upside-down flowerpot, and set stones in it for the birds to perch on.
Make a home for ladybugs with cup-shaped flowers such as tulips and lilies. Even children who are afraid of insects love these dainty little critters that bring good luck.
Add a container pond outside to lure frogs. You don't have to clean it often because they're attracted to the algae. Frogs also help control the pesky fly, mosquito, and moth populations.
Attract butterflies by planting dense clusters of brightly colored native flowers such as zinnias, marigolds, and milkweed. Visit wildflower.org to find plants that are indigenous to your area.
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Originally published in the June 2011 issue of Parents magazine.