I’ve long held the belief that as we age, we’d rather spend more time watching the birds at our feeders than to travel far and wide to see the world. While travel is a must in our youngish years, if for no other reason than to know the best is in our own backyard, but only if we make it so.
Paul English has proven this theory, and he and his wife are expanding their landscape to provide more than just beauty. They know by building a garden for the wildlife, the garden will provide one’s every need, without continuing to travel the world.
Creating a wildlife habitat has just four simple needs, and these needs are no different than what we humans require—food, shelter, a place to raise our young, and water. And the sound of moving water alerts the wildlife. For every living organism, these are the keys to a thriving life.
Although the original design of Paul English’s garden was Asian-inspired, there are aspects, particularly color, that go beyond what's found in an authentic Japanese garden. Click here for Paul English’s backstory. Still, there is no question of his love of the Orient; it shows at every turn. It might be best to describe Paul’s garden as Japanese-inspired, and going forward in other areas of this three plus acre property he shares with his wife Linda, Paul is gravitating more towards Nature-inspired! I like that.
Yes, Paul may be creating an entirely new garden style, but gardens are personal and progressive. A garden should reflect who we are at particular times of our lives. There is no reason to re-do; instead, it’s best to evolve. We can still appreciate a certain style, but grow in our commitment to do more. Paul wants to do more with pollinators and to do that, native plants will reign supreme.
While Paul’s love of the Orient is still deep within him, he is also a naturalist at the core. Now retired, and most of his major travel is behind him and Linda, it’s time to enhance their surroundings further.
To be sure, the English’s have the water need for a habitat. Although I somehow imagine, there will be more in his future, if only to include a birdbath within his plans to expand.
Unlike many of us, we are running out of room to add more gardens. Not for Paul. Over the nearly 40 years Paul has owned his home, he also acquired adjoining properties, totaling 3.5 acres. There are houses on some of this acreage, but there is still a lot of areas to work with, including 50-feet long curvilinear bed. This new pollinator bed is framed by grass that also favors wildlife by not being so fussy. Paul’s Nature-inspired journey is to focus on this area by adding in pollinator plants to benefit the birds, bees, and butterflies.
During my visit, Paul showed me some beginnings of what will be a healthy habitat start for birds, bees, and butterflies. Paul is poised to be a disciple of the Bee Better Naturally principals with first learning about sustainability and the rest then falls into place.
Paul mentioned to me the new area wasn’t irrigated; I let him know that is ideal. While all plants require watered until established, Paul would be able to create a garden in a natural style that didn’t depend on regular irrigation. The natives that will go into the new beds are use to our east coast conditions and can tolerate periods drought.
I look forward to future visits to see Paul’s progress as his new journey begins. I suspect the only traveling needed for Paul and Linda will be to walk the beds with the very best margarita I’ve ever tasted in hand.