PLANTS FOR ENCOUAGING GARDEN BIRDS
Garden birds give life to any gardens throughout the year. In addition to providing bird feeders and clean water plants can also play their part. They can create shelter and even food too. Using a range of suitable plants in your garden or hedging can create some dense bird-friendly conditions.
BERBERIS DARWINII – BARBERRY
This evergreen shrub is much underrated. It has rich yellow to orange coloured flowers in spring and blue berries in autumn. These berries are loved by blackbirds, waxwings and thrushes. In hard winters it can provide roosting places too.
CORNUS – DOGWOOD
This shrub is mainly grown for its colourful winter stems. However, it also provides black berries that are food for robins, finches, thrushes and starlings.
This is a great shrub for autumn colour. The red berries are loved by blackbirds and thrushes.
CRATAEGUS – HAWTHORN
The prickly stems are good nesting sites for dunnocks, robins and blackbirds.
HEDERA – IVY
The mature climbing ivy has berries that provide a natural food source for song thrushes. It also provides shelter for nests.
ILEX – HOLLY
A lovely evergreen that is synonymous with Christmas. It provides shelter to birds and the berries provide food for blackbirds and thrushes. It can also provide spring bird nesting sites and the flowers are rich in nectar and pollen too.
MALUS – APPLE
Apples are food for chaffinches, song thrushes, redwings and blackbirds.
This prickly climber is often grown to deter burglars but the spikes also provide birds with protection from predators too. Its berries provide food for sparrows, starlings and thrushes. The flowers in spring also attract small insects too.
SORBUS – ROWAN
A lovely tree that has flower in spring, great autumn leaf colour changes and berries too. Blackbirds, nuthatches and starlings will all enjoy eating the berries.
VIBURNUM OPULUS – GUELDER ROSE
The soft red berries are liked by robins and garden warblers. It also attracts insects needed for adult birds to feed their young.
Why not combine your usual bird feeders with some of these plants into your garden and keep your garden alive with birdlife throughout the year.