You may not think of private gardens as wildlife refugia, but an
increasing body of scientific evidence suggests that these habitats can
host a variety of species and act as stepping stones across landscapes
that are otherwise dominated by human structures. To increase the
effectiveness of gardens as havens for wildlife, many researchers have
touted a management technique variously known as "wildlife gardening,"
"ecological gardening," and "naturalistic gardening." Whatever you call
it, this method involves avoiding pesticides and mowing, using organic
compost instead of industrial fertilizers, and providing habitat
structures, such as ponds or wood piles, that provide food, water, and
places where animals can take shelter.