BOISE – There are lots of reasons to plant a garden, whether it’s to grow your own food, or just for the joy of growing things, including beautiful flowers, trees and shrubs. You may even be trying to attract some wildlife to your garden, especially the birds and the bees and the butterflies.

Garden master Jim Duthie says that even the animals at Zoo Boise have their favorite plants, just like people do. And you can grow many of the same plants in your own yard at home.

Zoo Boise is a fun and interesting place to go anytime of the year, but while you’re checking out the animals in the zoo, take a look at some of the plants around the zoo as well.

There are some things growing here at Zoo Boise that the animals like to eat, like bamboo, which is a favorite of the red panda.

Wilson the red panda isn’t related to the cuddly black and white panda bears you’re probably thinking of. But they do share one thing in common. Their favorite food is bamboo.

“Panda does translate to bamboo eater, so they get first dibs on all of the bamboo here that we cut,” said Liz Littman, Zoo Boise assistant director.

You don’t see a lot of bamboo growing here in Idaho, but you can grow some varieties here in the Treasure Valley. In fact, they grow a lot of it here at Zoo Boise, just for Wilson to eat.

Last winter’s extreme cold and heavy snow took a toll on the bamboo thickets here at the zoo, but they’re coming back. And Wilson isn’t the only resident of Zoo Boise that likes it.

Many other animals, like the porcupines, like a different taste now and then, and bamboo is one of their treats.

The wallabies like it, too. They would also love to browse through your vegetable garden, snacking on your romaine lettuce and…