Attracting Birds to Your Garden

By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI

            Are you interested in attracting more birds to your garden?  If so, it’s important to create a suitable year-round habitat by providing shelter and nesting sites for birds, as well as food and water sources.  You might be interested in further developing some of your lawn areas by planting trees, both deciduous and evergreen, along with shrubs and ornamental grasses.  Birds need a safe place to build nests and to escape bad weather and predators.  Annuals and perennials also help to provide shelter, food, and water.  

Trees, shrubs, and grasses can provide birds with nesting sites and nesting materials.  The taller the varieties, the more cover is available for birds to use.  Along with fruits that are produced in different seasons, and seed-bearing cones, some species of trees and shrubs attract insects which also provide a food source for birds.  Here are a few examples of beneficial additions to your yard: 

Trees:  Pine (Pinus sp.), Hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis), Spruce (Picea sp.), Juniper (Juniperus sp.), Maple (Acer sp.), Crabapple (Malus sp.), Cherry (Prunus sp.), Oak (Quercus sp.), Quaking Aspen (Populus sp.).

Shrubs:  Barberry (Berberis thunbergii), Dogwood (Cornus sp.), Currant (Ribes sp.), Sumac (Rhus sp.), Rose (Rosa sp.), Spirea (Spiraea sp.), Viburnum (Viburnum sp.).

Grasses:  Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), Muhly (Muhlenbergia sp.), Switchgrass (Panicum sp.), Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepsis). 

Annuals and perennials not only add beauty to your garden, they produce nectar and seeds that are yummy treats for birds.  Some seeds even remain a food source throughout the winter months.  Flowering plants also attract insects which are a main source of food for many birds.  There are many easy-to-grow flowers to add to your garden to attract birds: 

Perennials:  Coneflower (Echinacea), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia), Catmint (Nepeta), Bee Balm (Monarda), Garden Phlox (Phlox), Bleeding Heart (Dicentra).

Annuals:  Snapdragon (Antirrhinum sp.), Sunflower (Helianthus sp.), Petunias (Petunia sp.), Salvia (Salvia sp.), Marigold (Tagetes sp.), and Verbena (Verbena sp.) are just a few examples that attract birds to your yard. 

Water features can be big attractions in your garden if kept well-maintained and clean.  Small ponds with waterfalls, bird baths and fountains are great ways to provide bathing and drinking opportunities for your feathered friends.  

Stop in today to stock up on plants that attract birds to your garden!  Bloch’s Farm has many tree, shrub, and plant varieties available!  We also have fountains and bird baths to complete your perfect bird habitat!  Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail jlamontagne@blochsfarm.com with any questions.  You can also check out our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and be our friend on Facebook.  Don’t miss out on this weekend’s sale!  June 26th – 28th 20% off native perennials and butterfly host plants!

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