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How to Create a Garden for Birds

by Jean - Horticulturist CountryLife Ashford | Oct 02, 2015
How to create a garden for birds.
Attracting birds can be very easy to do and doesn’t have to take much time, effort or money. By doing this you will be helping your local birds while also spending some time outside. Even a small back garden could support a variety of wild birds if food and water are supplied on a daily basis.

These small changes can encourage more birds and provide the food they need:

Which Plants:
  • Skimma: Skimma is easy to plant and requires no additional effort while also attracting birds
  • Ivy: The leaves of the ivy provide nesting shelter for birds. The flowers are attractive to insects in the autumn. The fruits are eaten by pigeons, thrushes and robins
  • Honeysuckle: Provides berries and shelter for birds
Native Trees - offer a whole range of food options in the form of seeds, fruit, nuts, sap, nectar, leaves, pollen and insects. Native trees include:
  • Oak: Supports a rich variety and quantity of insects including caterpillars which provide food for other young birds
  • Willow: Willow leaves are eaten by many types of caterpillars
  • Birch: Supports a number of different types of insects
Garden Management:
  • Too tidy: Garden debris provides all sorts of benefits for the wildlife in your garden. By leaving a few areas you will notice where bugs and insects thrive and multiply. Therefore increasing the number of birds in your garden
  • Fruit: If you have a fruit cage in your garden, leave it open, the birds will really enjoying having the food especially during the winter months. By planting an apple tree and leaving windfalls on the ground – members of the thrush family will love to clear them up
  • Wild flowers: If you have a large garden, you could make an area of wildflower meadow and leave mowing until after flowers have seeded
Lawns
  • Worms: If you have a cultivated lawn this will attract different types of birds to your garden Blackbirds, Starlings, Robins and Wagtails can all be found hunting for leatherjackets, worms and flies.
  • Snails: By even putting out a flat stone in the middle of your garden this would help thrushes to use it as an anvil to crack open the shells. The Song Thrush will also search for snails and is a gardener’s real friend
Nesting
  • Leave out materials: To help birds make their nests in early spring, you could leave small bundles of hay, dog hair or feathers in your garden
  • Native hedge: To encourage birds to nest in safety, you can plant a native hedge or thicket
  • Placement: By putting site nest boxes in your garden inhabitants won’t be disturbed. Remember to tilt them down a little so that rain will not blow into the opening
Written by Jean

Here to help! - remember if you have any questions feel free to pop into one of our garden centres or you can contact us on our Facebook and Twitter pages and email us at: hello@countrylife.ie

Jean's Bio
Hi my name is Jean, I am a horticulturist with CountryLife in the Ashford branch. I grew up on a farm where we always had a veg garden, so you could say that horticulture and agriculture is in the blood! I studied Landscape Horticulture in UCD and worked part-time in Fernhill Garden Centre, Athlone while I was in college. After graduating I worked in Landscape Architecture for three years before returning to the Garden Centre trade. I began in Keane’s Garden Centre, Kilcolgan, Co Galway and returned to Fernhill Garden Centre for three years before joining CountryLife.  Being a horticulturalist is a great job, you are surrounded by nature every day and there is always something to be done. Meeting customers and giving the advice is very rewarding especially when they report back positive results. I love growing my own fruit and veg and I’m always trying new varieties and ways of growing. The seasons are always changing and while the weather is challenging in Ireland, I believe we grow the best produce in the world.

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