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An Edible Garden For the Birds

Winter is finally upon us! The gardens have been put to bed and in the quiet of bare branches I hear winter birds twittering. I enjoy seeing them hop through the garden as they eat the food it provides. So here’s my pitch for the birds!

A bird station can be a beautiful focal point for all seasons. Purchase a cobalt blue birdbath or a rustic wood bird house and surround it with life and color even in the depths of winter.

Whether designing a new landscape or updating an existing garden make it a living space for wildlife that you can enjoy watching. Here are a few options to incorporate into the next perennial garden, foundation planting, or focal point.

  • For spectacular color and berries the birds will appreciate try: Aronia, Winterberry Holly, Cotoneaster, Callicarpa, and Viburnum.

  • There are a few evergreens that our feathery friends are particularly fond of such as Holly, Juniper, and Spruce.

  • If you are looking for a larger tree for shade or structure in your yard the Hawthorn, Oak, Black Gum, and River Birch are all good options for you and the birds.

  • To anchor a corner of the house or provide a focal point in a smaller garden look to the Fringetree, Serviceberry, Crabapple or Dogwood.

If you want to experiment on a smaller scale, with less investment, pick up a few packs of Cosmo, Zinnia, or Sunflower seeds. Planted in a sunny location these annuals will create vibrant color for you and food for wildlife. Purple Coneflower, Cardinal Flower, Bee Balm and Milkweed are perennial options which create splashes of color among other perennials and feed the birds.

Even in the heart of winter there is movement and color. Enjoy it!

Check out the link below for more information and specifics on plants for birds. There are a few listed that struggle in the Ohio River Valley so make sure the plants you are interested in can handle our soil and climate.

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