Plant a Bird Friendly Garden: You Will Love It

Birds play an important part in a healthy garden by keeping slugs and snails and insect numbers under control. They also bring great enjoyment with their melodious tunes and caroling and as they flutter from one part of the garden to another.

Entice birds into your garden by selecting the right plants, and providing water for them all year round. Both native and exotic plants can be used to encourage birds into the garden, thereby adding color and wildlife to your environment. You can use a spotting scope for watching birds.

To provide a welcoming habitat for birds you must select a wide range of plants that have the fragrance, nectar, and berries that birds find attractive. Water should also be provided, in the form of a water dish or bird bath.

A bird feeder is also an alluring addition to the landscape, but birds should only be fed small amounts of seed so that they do not become dependent on artificial feeding.

This bird friendly garden design is worked around an established flowering cherry tree which stands about 5m tall and 5m wide. There are many varieties of spring flowering blossom trees with pink, cream or white flowers which you may build your bird garden around. The Berberis darwinii ‘Flame’ will attract birds to its autumn berries.

Other plants used in this garden are:

Thryptomene, which grows to 1 meter high with a spread of 1.5 meters and sports small, aromatic leaves and masses of tiny white or pink flowers from late winter to spring.

Daffodils with their green strap-like foliage and trumpet-shaped yellow flowers are a beautiful addition.

Grevillea ‘Scarlet Spike’ grows to about 1 meter tall and wide. It is a compact shrub with dark green, needle-like leaves and showy, bright red toothbrush, or bottlebrush flowers which the birds love.

The Honey wax plant is an open shrub with small, glossy green leaves and masses of waxy pinkish-white flowers in spring and grows to about 45 cm high with a spread of 30 cm.

Azalea ‘Hatsugiri’ grows to 60 cm tall and wide and is an evergreen, compact shrub with mid-green foliage and bright crimson-purple flowers.

Forget-me-nots are a fast spreading annual with mid-green, oval foliage and tiny bright blue flowers from spring to summer. They will grow to about 30 cm high and will spread to 45 cm.

To create this simple attractive bird garden:

  1. Clear the area around the Flowering Cherry, removing weeds and adding plenty of well-rotted compost to enrich the soil.
  2. Position a birdbath toward the back left-hand side of the garden, and hang the terra cotta bird feeder from one of the higher branches.
  3. Plant three ‘Honey Wax’ plants at the base of the tree in a semicircle. Make sure the planting hole is at least twice the size of the root ball.
  4. Plant the Thryptomene towards the left-hand side of the bed, adding some sand to the base of the planting hole ensure good drainage.
  5. Plant two Grevillea ‘Scarlet Spike’ towards the front of the garden. Around each plant, position daffodil bulbs in clumps of three or four.

Plant the Azalea ‘Hatsugiri’ to the right of the Grevilleas. Scatter Forget-me-not and wild flower seeds through the garden mulch well and then water.

Talk to your local nurseryman to find out about plants that birds find attractive and are most suited to your area.

In the course of intense development in towns, cities, and farms, birdlife has suffered from their habitats being destroyed and their food sources reduced. If you can create a refuge for birds like this, no matter how small, it will help.

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