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How to encourage wild birds into your garden

Your Garden is a ‘Living Thing’ that changes daily. Part of this never ending transformation is to do with supporting a vast array of wild life. Insects , worms, snails, caterpillars , plants , lawns and Birds.

Birds come to your Garden because they are part of the endless cycle of Nature. Birds give your Garden a moving dimension and fill it with sound. If you have the time , in this mad world of ours , to just sit in your garden on a summer evening and listen….and listen …..and listen you will be astonished at the number of bird songs and calls you will hear. Even in the heart of a city garden they are there – the feathered inhabitants who share our world and of whom we take little or no notice.

If you do as I have suggested above, and would like to bring even more of our feathered friends to live with you, then can I recommend that you fill your garden with the following plants.

Birds, by and large, are either ’Meat Eaters’ or ‘Vegetarians ’ but a few are both – a bit like us.
For the Vegetarians we can supply a vast array of Fruiting and Berried plants, all of which are beautiful in their own right, but the vegetarian persuasion also include a number of ’Seed Eaters ’ which is not quite so easy to accommodate – but it can be done ! The Carnivores are much easier to cater for; their diet consists of things like worms. snails, insects, caterpillars and slugs – so bring on the Carnivores!

BlackbirdI will start with the list of Berried and Fruiting plants that will attract Mr and Mrs Blackbird and many other true song birds to your Garden.

Cotoneaster- easy to grow: Callicarpa – go for ’Profusion’ a mass of purple berries : Daphne Mezereum ne – fabulous purple or white winter blossom, cherry red berries : Gaultheria – needs an acid soil, perfect ground cover: Hippophae Rhamnoides – for those by the seaside:
Ilex Verticulata-winterberry , fantastic deciduous holly, but you will need male and female; this plant is a birds equivalent to Beluga Caviar! Leicesteria – something a bit different, but easy to grow: Mahonia – another winter flowering treasure : Malus- the ornamental fruiting apples, lots of varieties to choose from : Sambucus – elderberry, the first berries to be feasted on : Symphoricarpus – snowberry, one of the last to be eaten ! Vaccinium – needs a very acid soil :
Viburnus Opulus – guilder rose, no hedge should be without it.

Now we come to the seed eaters. A very short list I’m afraid.

Teasel – grow it in the herbaceous border, the finches love it: Lavender – every garden must have lavender : Alnus -the alder tree, Gold Finches love this easy to grow tree : Eryngium – sea holly, one of the most rewarding of herbaceous perennials.

If you can find room in your garden for all, or most of the above you will be richly rewarded by our feathered friends. They can’t say ‘thank you’ but they will sing you a song !

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