Credit: GAP Photos/Maxine Adcock

Support helpful critters with this adorable abode – an easy and eco-friendly project for the whole family


Organic gardeners everywhere are learning the value of beneficial insects: ladybugs and lacewings gobble up plant predators such as aphids, while solitary bees are power-pollinators. Offering shelter to these important creatures is a gift to your garden.



Step 1: Cut

You’ll need five pieces of wood from a 1-in. x 6-in. x 8-ft. cedar board:

• 2 sides – each 8 in. x 6 in. 

• 1 base – 6 in. x 6 in.
• 1 overhanging top for protection – 6.5 in. x 6 in. 

• 1 back with a pilot hole for mounting (drill with a 2/32 bit) – 12 in. x 6 in. 


ASSEMBLE -  Hammer the pieces together to construct a box using 1.5-in. spiral nails.


Step 2: Decorate (or not)

Choose a low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) paint as the most sustainable option. Or go with unpainted cedar.


Step 3: Snip

Cut hollow stems from dried alliums, bamboo, squash, joe-pye weed, dandelion, teasel, golden rod, hollyhocks and/or buddleia into 5½-in. (14-cm) lengths.


Step 4: Stuff

Slide the cut stalks into the house.


Step 5: Mount

Fasten your bughouse to a wall protected from wind and rain. Attachments and anchors depend on the surface material; ask at your local hardware store if you’re unsure.