A Garden for the Birds

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases (more).

Lucky for us, we’ve been snuggly warm indoors this winter. Through our window though, we’ve watched little birds perched in our crab apple trees. They sit all fluffed up trying to keep warm and nourished in the freezing temps and endless wind chills. I’ve not been able to shake the concern I’ve felt for the poor critters. So, as we’re putting our gardening plans and goals into place for the year, we’ve decided to include planting a garden for birds.

Do A Flyover

To plan this garden for the birds, we’ve pretended to be birds ourselves. It’s a pretty fun game. We’ve thought about what we birds would want in a home if we were doing a little flyover. We’ve tried to imagine what it would be like to spot a cozy little birdhouse. Or how great a pool of thawed water would be to drink. We thought about how boring crab apples would be to eat. Every. Single. Day. With that motivation, we started poring over our seed catalogues during the middle of the latest snow squall and came up with a list of must-haves for our tiny feathered friends.

Make a Survival List

First on the list for our birds was a new tree. We decided that we’ll plant an evergreen on the southeast side of our yard. It’s a warm and sheltered place compared to the northern and western areas of the yard. The density of the evergreen’s needles and branches will provide shelter and protection for our birdie friends. Other small shrubs, bushes, and trees can be used for the same purposes, and we have several already.

The additions we’ll make to our flower garden includes sunflowers. Sunflowers are bird friendly, kid friendly, and their big happy faces are just all around, well, friendly. They’re fun to grow, and they make a lovely display in the garden for awhile each summer. In the end, those big, bright flowers become a seed feast for birds when dried just in time for the long winter. Sunflowers are friends AND food.

We’ll plant coneflowers along with our sunflowers. The purple coneflowers will not only compliment the yellow nicely, but they will make a delicious cold weather snack for the birds. Additional flowers that we can enjoy along with our feathered friends are bachelor buttons, black eyed Susan’s, salvia and poppies. These flowers will all dry and become seedy little morsels. We’re glad to learn that some of the perennials we already have serve the needs of our birds along with those crab apples.

garden for birds
This handy heater helps keep bird baths from icing over.

In addition to the new plants we’ll introduce to the garden, we have plans to round everything out for the birds. As a decoration in our garden, we have a bird bath that we will work on doing a better job keeping filled and ice free this year. We also supplement our home grown gifts of nutrition with some homemade treats. For Valentine’s Day, we made bird feeders. We gathered pinecones from our pine trees and smothered them with peanut butter. Next, we rolled them in birdseed. Then we hung these fatty, protein-rich feeders in the crab apple trees to give the birds a mid-winter calorie boost.

garden for birds
Seed mixes to attract birds are available for those who have space for a wildflower garden. Purchase your seed from a reputable source to avoid a mix of weed seeds rather than wildflower seeds.

A Luxury Tweet

Finally, we plan to build a roosting box near the crabapple trees and other seed sources. Our hope is that our feathery friends will feel almost as warm and snuggly as we feel in our own home when the weather outside is frightful.

Now that our plans are in place, we still have one problem to overcome. Sometimes, our eager birdie friends have snatched the seeds we’ve planted right out of the ground at planting time. We need to curb their appetite in the springtime, too. So, we’re going to provide a couple of consistently filled feeders in the garden. We’ll make them available to help our birdie friends overcome their tendency for immediate gratification in hopes of germination of those delish sunflower heads that will reward them down the road. How do YOU grow a garden for the birds? Let us know! And, if you’re looking for a birdbath de-icer, the link below will lead you to the top-rated version available on Amazon for a little over $40.

Buy Now - via Amazon

Photo of author

About Amy

Amy spent her early years roaming a neighbor's corn field, much to her parents' distress, and eating tomatoes like apples in her Midwest grandmother's garden. She learned to snap green beans like a machine by the tender age of four. Later, as a Colorado gal, she battled the elements and finally had success growing a celebratory rhubarb plant in a high altitude garden setting. At that point, there was no turning back. She gave in to her green thumb and, in order of priority, is currently growing vegetables, flowers, kids, and pets on the high plains south of Denver.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get access to free prizes, product sneak-peeks, reviews, how-to's and much more!

More Info | Email Privacy

2 thoughts on “A Garden for the Birds”

  1. We’ve been thinking about adding a fresh water source for the birds in our yard – even during the winter months.

  2. We buy lots of bird seed to feed the birds in our yard but I would like to put in more plants that provide food for them—I think that would be healthier and tastier for them 🙂


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.