Animal House

Attract these friendly creatures to your backyard with simple garden ideas.

Feathered Friends

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.

Polka-Dotted Pals

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.

Kermit's Cousins

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.

Absolute Monarch

Attract butterflies by planting dense clusters of brightly colored native flowers such as zinnias, marigolds, and milkweed. Visit to find plants that are indigenous to your area.

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Originally published in the June 2011 issue of Parents magazine.

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