The Art of Darkness

Theme Garden: Bats

February 11th, 2009 by Cobwebs

Spring will be here before we know it (at least it better be, lest I get all stabby), so it’s time to start thinking about next year’s garden. If you’re looking for an interesting theme, why not try a Bat Garden?

First, check with your local wildlife extension office to see what kind of bats are native to your area. If you have nectar-eating bats, you’ll want to plant fragrant night-blooming flowers. If (more likely) you’ve got insect-eaters, you should choose plants that attract insects.

For nectar-eaters, choose flowers that:

  • Bloom at night
  • Are large (at least 1″ or more)
  • Are pale-colored or white
  • Are very fragrant and have lots of nectar

In the American southwest, Agave plants or Saguaro cacti are a good choice. Guava, moonflower, night-blooming gladiolus, passion flowers, sand verbena, tufted primrose, sacred datura, desert tobacco, gilias, and night-blooming cereus are other possibilities. (There are also reports of hummingbird feeders being hijacked by nectar bats, so as a last resort you might hang up one or two of these.)

For insect-eaters, you’ll want to choose plants and create an environment that attracts night-flying insects such as moths. Fragrant night-blooming plants include four o’clocks, heliotrope, silene, evening primrose, nicotiana, cornflowers, evening stock, salvia, phlox, sweet rocket, soapwort, dame’s rocket, gardenia, eastern false aloe, joe-pye weed, and jasmine. You can also choose herbs for double duty, in the kitchen and to attract bats. Good choices are sage, borage, oregano, lemon balm, marjoram, chives (let some of them flower), and all of the mints (spearmint, apple mint, chocolate mint, pennyroyal, pineapple mint, peppermint).

Check to see what kind of conditions these plants like: Depending upon your region, it might be better to grow some of these plants in pots and take them inside during the winter.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Unhallowed Ground | 1 Comment »