Wildlife Habitat Council
There are many ways to provide these places
to hide, called cover. The first and simplest way to provide cover is to build a brush pile. You can build a brush pile with old branches or use your natural Christmas tree when it's time to take it down. A second way to provide cover is to plant your perennials and shrubs more densely to minimize the open space between them. A third way to provide cover for wildlife is to make your lawn smaller by widening gardens such as foundation plantings. You can also replace sections of your lawn that don't grow well with gardens filled with native plants that will thrive under the growing conditions in that spot. Many of my gardens are quite wide, at least 10 to 12 feet. There is little "empty space" between my perennials.
I cut down my perennials in the spring, not the fall, to provide winter interest and cover for wildlife during the cold months. As supplemental sources of cover, my garden includes a roosting box that supplies shelter to birds in the winter and a bat house. People can't survive for very long without water, and neither can wildlife.