A very happy Monday, MNN readers, and welcome to the tenth installment of "The garden party," a product-centric weekly series geared toward all of you al fresco entertainers, patio partiers and backyard BBQ'ers out there. The emphasis, as you may have gathered, is on outdoor entertaining paraphernalia that boast one or more of the following eco-friendly attributes: a. handmade b. made from sustainable or recycled materials c. domestically manufactured or d. durable/made-to-last so that they’ll be used not just this summer but for many more summers to come.
A few weeks back, I wrangled up several nontoxic/non-gruesome devices to help keep pesky — and potentially dangerous — uninvited guests from crashing backyard fiestas. But let's say you want to invite a few well-behaved critters to your next outdoor get-together. Because, really, what's more entertaining than watching (highly curated) wildlife from the comfort of your backyard? And you never know, treat your wild neighbors right and they may pitch in and help with dishes and clean up a la "Cinderella."
Below, you'll find a few backyard habitat-related items that will help to attract all of your friends to the party. You'll probably noticed that I've left out items that attract industrious, beneficial winged critters such as bees, bats, and ladybugs — while they're great for gardens, they're not always so great for gardens filled with tipsy humans. You can also plenty more birdhouse/feeder options here.
Teak Butterfly Shelter @ Gardener's Supply Company ($59.95)
City Critters Housewarming Kit by visuallingual @ Etsy ($32)
Saucer Birdfeeder @ Terrain ($98)
Butterfly Muddler by Jo-Anne and Gerald Warren @ UncommonGoods ($40)
Picnic Table Ear of Corn Squirrel Feeder by Woodlink @ Amazon.com ($15.15)
Hummingbird Feeder by J. Schatz @ A+R Store ($135)
Big Head Squirrel Feeder @ Archie McPhee ($15)
Classic Audubon Bird Call @ Daytrip Society ($8)
Nesting Cotton Balls @ Terrain ($12)
Firefli — the Firefly Attractor for iPhone/iPad Touch @ iTunes Store ($0.99)
Firefly image: James Jordan/Flickr