Birds. There’s something both relaxing and exciting about having a variety of swooping, colorful, singing birds around your garden and home. They are the ultimate yard ornaments! It is one of our main daily enjoyments in God’s lovely creation. When a mockingbird perches atop our chimney filling the house with echoes of music, we are simply delighted!
Drawing these jewels to your yard is a matter of concentrating on what they like in their environment. It doesn’t take much yard space and just a little imagination and planning! Our trellises for our pole beans and squash seem to be a place that many different species like to congregate en masse.
Spring or fall planting of domesticated cultivars of honeysuckle such as Gold Flame and Mandarin (which are not invasive) will encourage the hummers to come. Put one by a patio, porch or window to enjoy their coming and going to the fullest! Many catalogs carry them or ask your local nurseryman.
If there is a native trumpet vine in the area, they are already in the neighborhood. They are always scouting for new sources of nectar. Offer it, and they will come in growing numbers through the years.
Hummingbirds love lilies. See The Lily Garden for their favorite varieties.
Almost any brightly-colored bloom in the shape of a trumpet will do the trick.
Bigger birds (and singers) like mockingbirds, bluebirds, catbirds, cardinals, finches, flickers, grosbeaks, jays, robins, sapsuckers, tree swallows, thrashers, hermit thrushes, yellow-rumped warblers, and cedar waxwings love berries. And, of course, there are many others depending on where you live in other parts of the country.
The key is planting some things that you don’t depend on for food. Here is a short list:
Viburnums, wild currants and elderberries, crab apples, junipers and cedars, Virginia winter creeper, barberries, hollies, Juneberries (aka serviceberry or Saskatoon berry – delicious and sweet like blueberries), and mulberries. And there are many, many different varieties to choose from within each of these kinds to suit your landscaping preferences.
Doing everything you can in your power to go organic as you care for the lawn and garden will also help. When we first bought the old farm years ago, there were so few birds. It had been run conventionally with lots of chemicals.
As we transitioned to organic (a three year process), the bird and wildlife population rebounded exponentially. Now there are indigo buntings, orioles, towhees, owls, bobolinks, and even whip-poor-wills and pileated woodpeckers! We sold to folks who we knew would keep it organic! Today they sell grass-fed and finished cattle, and it is as natural as 100 years ago.
“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things make a home happy and life lovely.” ~Louisa May Alcott
Thanks for reading!