Birdscaping for a Bird-Friendly Garden

Birdscaping for a Bird-Friendly Garden

Beauty, color and song are just a few benefits of birdscaping. Creating a sheltered haven for birds offers a unique opportunity to observe flittering wildlife in a lovely natural sanctuary. Birds are also a boon to pest control as they dine heartily on insect pests. The secret to a bird-friendly garden is to have a mix of flowering plants that provide nectar for hummingbirds, nourishing seeds or berries for songbirds, or shrubbery for shelter to provide nesting sites and protection from predators. There are so many plants to choose from, like Aloe, Arctostaphylos, Ceanothus, Heteromeles, Penstemon, and Salvia, but here are a few choice plants for you to consider.

 

Arbutus 'Marina'
Arbutus 'Marina'– Marina Strawberry Tree has beautiful flowers and red edible fruit. Clusters of urn-shaped pinkish-white flowers are produced year-round along the coast with peaks in spring and fall. This handsome evergreen tree grows 25-50 feet tall with a broad dense crown. Both birds and bees enjoy this tree.
Pennisetum orientale
Pennisetum orientale – Fuzzy pinkish flowers rise on spikes above arching clumps of fine-textured grass from late spring through fall. To 18 inches tall, this winter-dormant grass offers plenty of seeds in fall and thatch for nests in spring. The pink plumes are spectacular when back lit.
Cercis occidentalis
Cercis occidentalis – Western Redbud is one of the most dramatic of California natives, with a profuse display in spring of vibrant magenta blooms. A small deciduous shrub or tree to 15 feet tall. Flowers are followed by flatted reddish seed pods that age to light brown and often hold on into winter.
Callistemon 'Little John'
Callistemon 'Little John' – The blood-red blooms of Dwarf Bottlebrush provide plenty of nectar for hummingbirds and honeybees. This showy compact shrub is the perfect size for any garden. Bristle-like stamens appear throughout the year, but peak bloom is early summer through fall. Evergreen. To 5 feet tall with a wide, rounded spread.
Kniphofia uvaria
Kniphofia uvaria – Hummingbirds love the tropical color and flower spikes of Red Hot Poker. Flowers develop during the summer and last for weeks on wand-like stems above fine green foliage. Although water-wise, plants tend to bloom more profusely with supplemental water in summer.
Grevillea 'Canberra'
Grevillea 'Canberra' – Prolific reddish-pink flowers provide nectar over an extended period. Dense soft-textured needle-like foliage is terrific for providing bird habitat. Compact shrub to 4 to 5 feet tall by a bit wider. Nice specimen plant or trim to form a short hedge.
Magnolia grandiflora
Magnolia grandiflora – The classic Southern Magnolia makes a spectacular specimen tree. Its glossy leaves and glorious displays of large, fragrant flowers make it a favorite in the western landscape. This distinguished tree can reach 80 feet tall and 40 feet wide.
Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet'
Viburnum tinus 'Spring Bouquet' – Showy and fragrant pinkish-white spring flowers are followed by the arrival of metallic-blue berries that birds flock to in summer and fall. The versatile Compact Viburnum reaches only 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. Evergreen with dense, dark-green foliage.


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