Do you want to sit in your garden and watch the birds and butterflies come and go all season? Do you love the idea of providing a haven for your feathered friends, and inviting butterflies to do their pollinating in your yard? Then, let’s build you the best garden possible for attracting them to your yard. If you are in, or near Loveland or Fort Collins, give us a call and we’ll help you design and build your dream garden.
Bring in the Birds
There are a lot of options for attracting birds to your garden. One thing that you should always do is include a water feature. Birds are always looking for water. And, if they know that your yard is a constant and reliable source, they’re sure to come back frequently for a drink and a bath. Your water feature will attract all kinds of birds from hummingbirds to woodpeckers. Depending where you’re located, you may even get a few large birds of prey stopping by.
Flowers and fruits are another great way to attract birds. When you are making your choices, be sure to include a few bushes that provide shelter from the weather and from predators. That’ll be sure to help them feel right at home.
Here are some great plants to choose from:
The bright orange berries of American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) are just about irresistible to more than a dozen species of birds. It is a large bush that provides really good shelter as well. Be sure to make sure you’ve got male and female plants or you won’t get any berries!
Ring the dinner bell with plants that grow the seeds birds love. Choose a Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Blazing star (Liatris), Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), or Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus). All of these will thrive in our Northern Colorado climate and make your bird friends extremely happy.
Decorative grass gives birds what they are looking for. Switchgrasses, and tall-growing ornamentals are great choices. You’ll find doves and other birds on the ground gobbling up fallen seeds, while robins and wrens will swing by and grab course strands for their nests.
Choose dogwoods for a backyard wildlife extravaganza. Not only do birds love them, but butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects can’t get enough. They’re also a favorite nesting spot for small birds.
You don’t have to break the bank to get your perfect bird sanctuary. Simple and inexpensive plants like milkweed and purple cornflowers will do the trick. Plant some lettuce and let it go to seed. You’ll have finches galore going after what’s left.
Make them Feel at Home
If you want your birds to feel safe and secure in your yard, set aside a few protected spaces with some branches, bramble and stones. A lot of birds and other critters will be grateful for the safe place to make a home.
And, you’ll want to try and stay away from using chemical pesticides in your bird garden. They are very dangerous for our feathered friends. Thankfully, with a diverse variety of plants, including a lot of native species, you can also attract the beneficial insects you’ll need to keep the nasty ones at bay.
A Butterfly Bonanza
If you are going to go through the process of choosing, planting and carefully tending to plants that attract butterflies, please avoid using anything like Roundup in your garden. It will kill the friends you’ve just invited in for a visit.
Our last article was all about native plants. Lucky for you, they are one of the best ways to attract butterflies. Butterflies in the midst of their migration know what they like and what they need along the way. Give it to them.
A lot of butterflies only feed in full sun. We’re not sure why this is. Just be sure to make sure you’re giving them a shade-free buffet.
Create a butterfly spa. Flat rocks for sunning, a little sandy puddle, and you’re all set. Butterflies like a good soak in the sun. And a sandy puddle gives them a safe place to grab a little drink. The fast-moving water in a birdbath or water feature is going to be a bit much for their delicate sensibilities.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about how to make birds and butterflies feel at home in your garden. Give us a call. We’re ready to help build you a beautiful habitat for you flying friends!