4 weeks ago
There is something so peaceful about waking up to the sound of birds creating a musical harmony in the garden. Creating a spa-like retreat to welcome birds & butterflies is easier than you think. Just like humans, they seek out essential food, shelter and water in order to thrive in their environments. Consider your winged friends when choosing plants and other items for the outdoor space to entice them to linger a little longer.
Create a menu
Grouping masses of colorful plants together will create an enticing place for birds and butterflies to feast. Butterflies tend to like more flat-shaped flowers such as coneflowers, lantana and buddleia. The colorful blossoms on these perennials provide plenty of nectar to savor and a peaceful place to rest their wings. With bright hues such as the sunny yellow of Chapel Hill Lantana, they will beckon the butterflies to stop by and check them out.
A magical bird that tends to bring an element of surprise to the garden is the hummingbird. To get a glimpse of these fast-winged creatures is an absolute sight to behold. Their lightning fast wings beat an average of 50-80 beats per minute and they have the unique ability to fly backwards. With their superior hovering skills, perhaps that is why Hummingbirds seem to prefer long & tubular flowers that other birds cannot access as easily. Although they will feast on all colored blooms, they tend to be most attracted to flowers in shades of orange or red. Trumpet vine (also know as Campsis) is a favorite treat that provides bright flowers with sweet nectar. Reddish-orange varieties such as Hot Lips® Campsis are easy to grow and quick to spread for a large canvas to feast on. They can be planted along a fence or used on a trellis to add beautiful vertical height.
Throughout the spring and summer, it is easy to incorporate a variety of plants that attract wildlife. When choosing trees or shrubs, however, think about varieties that also offer winter interest. Some shrubs have an added bonus of more treats for a winter menu. Crapemyrtles such as the dwarf Cherry Dazzle® or mid-sized versions like Red Rooster® not only offer bright blooms all summer long, they also produce seed pods that birds relish during the off-season. Pearlific® Viburnum is another evergreen flowering shrub that produces a delightful treat of red berries that ripen to black that are ideal for hungry birds.
Also consider scattering a variety of bird feeders throughout the garden. Check with a local garden center for the best type of feed for your area. They will know which birds are hanging around town and which ones may have migrated for the winter season.
Add the Refreshments
Fresh water is another essential element for a garden that is sure to entice birds & butterflies. Add a birdbath or fountain with no more than 2-3 inches of water. Birds will be happy to prop on a ledge to cool off or get a much-needed drink during the summer heat. Remember to keep the areas clean and refill every 2-3 days.
Home Sweet Home
Small shrubs and fruit-bearing trees are great places for birds to set up a home in the branches. Providing a variety of different heights will keep the winged friends content as they nestle in the branches. With its dark burgundy foliage, Ever Red® Loropetalum is a great choice to help the birds feel secure and shield them from unwanted visitors to their nests.
Birdhouses are also a perfect addition as well. If installing a birdhouse, however, check with a local garden center expert to see which species are in the area so it doesn’t stay empty for long. Also, be mindful of placing birdhouses high off the ground to keep them safe from threats such as local cats or other animals. With a variety of different shapes and sizes, they can be as eclectic or simple as you’d like to decorate the outdoor space.
Create Lasting Memories
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