Garden for Birds #3
Well, another week is passing us by.
I want to thank everyone who writes me back.
Gardens and birds can bring total strangers together.
ISN'T IT GREAT!
I feel as though I'm getting to know you and we are becoming neighbors.
You may have fledglings by now.
None for me just yet.
Even with Michigan weather, things are changing in the yard everyday now.
Birds come and go.
Plants seem to grow a foot some days.
New blooms, new plantings.
Chipmunk is still on the loose.
Karen is in a battle with some rabbits munching down her pansies.
Baby powder works wonderful until it rains.
Same with ammonia water.
I may have to break down and get some liquid fence.
Last week I was pointing out ways to attract more birds by building under the tree canopies.
There are birds that live in all levels of a forest and our yards.
By gardening with this in mind, attracting several birds will be easier for you.
Perennial gardens can be a bit of a challenge, yet fun in many ways.
Trees and shrubs become more permanent fixtures in out yards.
As with trees and shrubs, write in on your plans where and what you maywant to plant.
Consider bloom time, how tall your plant may get.
What kind of spread will your new plants have?
Will it be invasive?
Do you want to color coordinate by planting several shades of pinks or yellows?
What about reds and blues?
What will grow in shade and what requires sun?
WHEW! ! !
So many questions I think I'm getting a headache.
FEAR NOT MY FRIEND!
One thing nice about gardening for birds.......
IT'S YOUR YARD!
You can do what you want and however you want to do it.
If you have enough of the attractors planted, birds will come.
Let's go ahead and get started.
Now I know I said it's your yard, but I'm going to help you spend some ofyour money.
You get the rest of the fun.
You get to plant and watch things grow.
You get the rewards of watching nature come to life in your yard.
Once again, go to your zone maps and see what is hardy in your area.
Check out the local nurseries and garden centers.
Look in specialty catalogs.
I like to have something a bit unique if possible.
You know, that one plant that no one else has.
In landscaping, plants are done up in odd numbers.
1....... 3........5 etc.
One is an accent plant, something you want to show off or highlight a
Groupings are attractors.
Groupings can brake up a mundane landscape.
Highs and lows.
Breaks in the landscape force the eyes to follow more closely.
If you noticed on our walk, your eyes followed every up and down.
You were able to catch colors and wildlife you would've missed
if you were watching and walking a straight path.
So it goes in your yard.
WHAT TO PLANT
Some very common perennials are:
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia).
Goldfinches love the seeds from these late summer bloomers.
Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea).
Finches and other small seed-eating birds are attracted to the seed
heads late into the fall.
Did you know there are several other seed-producing plants that you may have in your yard right now?
How about daylilies (Hemerocallis).
Yes, if let go, nice seeds can form on these perennial favorites.
Blanket flower (Gailardia)
Again, season long seed heads.
Crocosmia (Crocosmia 'Lucifer')
Besides being great hummingbird attractors, Crocosmia have seed pods
similar to daylilies that open up to show their delights to the birds.
Perennial sunflowers (Helianthus multiflorus)
In late summer into early fall this plant continues to bloom and will fill up with goldfinches.
LOSE THE CLIPPERS
It is so tempting to want that nice groomed look in our yard.
Yet, to make it bird friendly, you will need to lighten up on the clippers and pruning sheers.
Keep some of those old faded bloom stalks standing.
Don't be so quick to cut back that branch.
Your work of art is on going and you will figure it out.
It's fun when you can add a planting or move them around.
Birds will find your yard more friendly when they have a place to rest and feed.
Think of the nesting possibilities.
Another bonus is strangers that will stop just to peek at your masterpiece.
That will give you a warm fuzzy.
An important part to any yard is of course your personality.
Be sure to put plenty of your personality into your yard.
time to go.
Until next time my friend.
Be sure to smile, you might confuse someone
Ron Patterson has been feeding and caring for backyard birds for the past 40 years.
He is always looking for better and safer ways to fees and garden for birds.
Ron is a Michigan Certified Nurseryman as well. This gives him the expert experience and knowledge needed to garden for birds.
You can find Ron's weekly newsletter "Backyard Birding Tips"