Birding UK and Ireland Forum  
Welcome! Log-in to the Forum.
UK and Ireland Birding Community
Come and viagra overnight join us!

New Listings

More New Listings...

Top Ten Garden Plants for Birds PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 May 2009 10:29

Top Ten Garden Plants for Birds

Growing a wide variety of plants offers birds food and shelter.

Native species are a rich source of food for birds, but make sure you do'nt totally rule out some of non-native garden plants. Many are closely related to their native counterparts and palatable to most native insects. Birds find the berries of non-natives such as Cotoneaster or Pyracantha just as edible as those of the levitra sales in canada'>levitra sales in canada native Hawthorn.


hawthorn
1. Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna

Height and spread
10m (30ft) x 8m (25ft)

Conditions
Grows very fast and is tolerant of all but the most waterlogged soils and wiill grow in full sun or partial shade.

Features
Two wild varieties of http://soldeosa.com/cialis-sale hawthorn are found in the UK:

  • Common Hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna - familiar as a hedgerow plant or in scrubby areas
  • Midland Hawthorn, Crataegus laevigata - found mainly in woods in Central England

Propagation and maintenance
Winter planting of bare-rooted ‘whips’ is best for rapid establishment. Pruning is minimal. If growing a tree, remove side (lateral) shoots in the early stages of growth to encourage it to grow upwards to cialis for women the desired crown height. If grown as part of a shrub bed, rotational cutting to the base is required every 8 to 12 years to encourage thick re-growth of fresh new shoots. Hedges require trimming in late winter in alternate years, after berries have been eaten.

Benefits
356 species of insect have been recorded feeding on it, 29 of which feed nowhere else. The thorny nature provides excellent protection for birds and http://georgiaathletichospitality.com/buy-viagra-generic mammals and the berries are much sought after in autumn. Hawthorn provides food for caterpillars and aphids, which in turn are an important food for birds and other wildlife.


goat willow
2. Goat willow Salix caprea

Height and spread
A common wild variety of willow which can reach 15m (35ft) in height, with a spread of 5m (15ft).

Conditions
Very hardy. Suited to moist, but well drained soils and grows well in full sun.

Features
Attractive winter stems and catkins in the spring. The ‘Kilmarnock’ variety of S. caprea has been grafted onto a short standard root stock. This is ideal if you have a small terrace or balcony, as it may be grown in a container and takes up little room.

Propagation and maintenance
Easy to propogate from a cutting and requires minimal management. Every three to six years, cut stems to the ground in late winter. If you only have one plant, cut a proportion of gbbinc.com the stems over the same period.

Benefits
Extremely beneficial to pfizer viagra canada insects. The catkins provide a rich source of nectar for bees in early spring. The leaves are eaten by many kinds of caterpillar and may support large numbers of aphids and http://www.johnandpetes.com/best-viagra sawflies - important food for birds.


cotoneaster
3. Cotoneaster Cotoneaster spp

Height and spread
Variable. Some are low growing from 30cm (12ins) up to small trees as tall as 6m (20ft). Spread is equally variable, from 90cm (36ins) to 4m (12ft).

Conditions
Very hardy and grow in most fertile, well drained, neutral to chalky soils. Most prefer sun or partial shade. Some deciduous varieties prefer full sun. May be susceptible to damage by severe wind chill in exposed places.

Features
The more than 200 different species have a range of different sizes and shapes, from prostrate ground cover plants, to bushes and small trees. Some are deciduous, while others are evergreen. The flowers are similar in size and colour – small, whitish-pink. The berries are generally red in colour although some varieties are yellow. There are varieties to suit the smallest to largest garden.

Propagation and maintenance
Seeds can be sown in cold frames after ripening. Alternatively, cuttings from evergreen varieties are best taken in late summer and from deciduous varieties in early summer. General maintenance is minimal. Lightly prune in late summer to make clusters of berries or fading flowers more accesible to cheapest levitra in uk'>cheapest levitra in uk birds. They will tolerate hard cutting back to restore neglected plants.

Benefits
Bees find the flowers highly attractive as a source of nectar. Birds, particularly starlings and thrushes, find the berries a good source of autumn and http://globalfriendlink.com/cialis-online-canada winter food. Evergreen varieties provide shelter for insects over winter. They also provide food for aphids, which are eaten by birds, and other beneficial insects. Most varieties are drought- resistant.


dog rose
4. Dog rose Rosa canina

Height and spread
Approximately 3m x 3m (10ft x 10ft).

Conditions
Roses are hardy and do well in most moderately fertile soils and in full sun. They benefit from humus-rich, free-draining soil annually enhanced with a good mulch of compost.

Features
Beside the wild, native dog rose, there are a vast number of cultivated varieties. Flowers can be single or multi-petalled and vary vastly in colour including whites, pinks, reds and yellows. The best varieties are those with single petals, closely representing their native counterpart.

Propagation and maintenance
Most roses are grafted onto a wild rose rootstock. Take cuttings in autumn to root and be grown on. Train stems to wire or trellis support. Cut leading shoots to encourage greater branching. General pruning and tidying can be carried out after fruits have been eaten in late winter.

Benefits
215 species of insect feed on roses. 44 of these are exclusive. Roses attract aphids - an important component in the diet of envirobil.no many birds and insects. Climbing roses form a thick, impenetrable refuge for birds.


honeysuckle
5. Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum

Height and spread
Ranges in height and spread from 2 to 7m (6 to 22ft) x 2 to 3m (6 to 10ft).

Conditions
Generally hardy and able to grow in most well drained but moist soils, in full or partial sun.

Features
There are almost 200 different types, including some that csn be grown as a free standing shrub or hedge. Climbing members of i recommend levitra online pharmacy the family may be deciduous or evergreen and www.historicebenezer.org grow by entwining themselves around a support, such as a tree, wires or wooden trellis. Flowers are strongly scented and cheap cialis online occur in a variety of colours, from whites and yellows, through hues of reds, pinks and oranges. Wild honeysuckle flowers are white to yellow with a red-flush. Fruits vary in colour from reds to dark purple or black.

Propagation and maintenance
Layering young stems can propagate plants and separating from the viagra or cialis parent plant once a root has been established. Most climbing varieties should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Wild honeysuckle flowers on http://www.historicebenezer.org/order-viagra-online the previous year's growth and if necessary, a proportion of the plant should be pruned in alternate years. Shrubby honeysuckles (Lonicera nitida and L. pileata) can be cut back after berries have been eaten.

Benefits
Thick, well-established climbers make ideal nest sites for thrushes. 19 species of insect have been recorded feeding on honeysuckle - 10 of which feed exclusively. Climbing honeysuckles attract aphids - an important source of food for birds and beneficial garden insects. Autumn fruits attract warblers, thrushes and bullfinches.


ivy
6. Ivy Hedera helix

Height and spread
Common ivy may grow up to 10m (30ft). Many cultivar forms are smaller.

Conditions
Very hardy and will grow in humus rich fertile soil that is suitably well drained. Variegated varieties require full sun, but those with plain green leaves can tolerate full or partial shade.

Features
There are about eleven representatives in this group. Ivy has the ability to buy viagra new york self-cling and ordering cialis online'>ordering cialis online climb over any surface. Leaves come in three shapes: the familiar three-lobed type, a five pointed or crested leaf and a rounded leaf. Ivy does not flower until mature and over a metre tall. Flowers late in the year, from October onwards and provides nectar as late as December before producing purple-black fruit in late winter on which blackbirds and song thrushes feed.

Propagation and maintenance
Grows easily from the laying of a young shoot into the ground. Once rooted, it can be separated from its parent plant. Clip back in early spring after the fruits have been eaten.

Benefits
Evergreen, so provides food and shelter year round. Of the five species of insect recorded feeding on ivy, two are exclusive feeders, including in late summer, the holly blue butterfly. A mature ivy-covered wall may shelter wren and even blackbird nests, as well as a host of hibernating creatures, including butterflies.

For a more comprehensive listing of recommended climbers for gardens, please click on the link to the right.


alyssum
7. Alyssum Alyssum spp

Height and spread
Variable, but generally 15cm (6ins) x 50cm (20ins). Some varieties spread to 50cm (20ins).

Conditions
A hardy plant, which grows best on fertile, well-drained soils in full sun.

Features
There are more than 100 different varieties of this plant, which is a member of the cabbage family. These occur as annuals, perennials and sub-shrubs. They have a spreading growth often forming a rounded hummock shape with erect flower stems. The flowers can be seen in early summer and can be yellow or white.

Propagation and maintenance
Seeds can be sown in containers during spring or autumn and germinated in a cold frame. Soft shoot cuttings may be grown if taken in early summer. Maintain their shape by trimming lightly after the plants have flowered. Retain dead stems over winter to provide seed and we like it generic viagra from canada refuge for insects.

Benefits
A drought resistant plant, attractive to bees, moths, butterflies and hoverflies. They are also attractive to aphids, which are eaten by birds and other insects.


candytuft
8. Candytuft Iberis spp

Height and spread
Variable, but generally 15cm (6ins) x 30cm (12ins). Some varieties grow and spread to 30cm (12ins) x 60cm (24ins).

Conditions
Hardy plants, which grow in neutral to alkali, poor to moderately fertile soils, with good drainage and in full sun.

Features
Members of the cabbage family, represented by over 40 different varieties. They occur as perennials, annuals and evergreen sub-shrubs. They are a spreading, hummock forming plant with white, purple, red or pink, sometimes fragrant flowers.

Propagation and maintenance
The seeds of annual varieties may be sown directly. Those of perennials or sub-shrubs need to be sown in containers in autumn and kept in a cold frame. Softwood cuttings can be taken in late spring and early summer. Plants may require light trimming after flowering to official canadian pharmacy'>official canadian pharmacy maintain their shape. Retain dead stems over winter to provide seed, and a refuge for insects.

Benefits
Candytuft is attractive to bees, butterflies and moths. It is also attractive to slugs, snails and caterpillars, all of which are eaten by a number of birds.


flowering tobacco
9. Flowering tobacco Nicotiana spp

Height and spread
60 to 150cm (2 to 5ft) x 30cm to 40cm (12ins to 16ins). One evergreen, sub-shrub variety may grow and spread by 2.5 – 3m (8-10ft).

Conditions
Moderately hardy and grow well in moist, fertile soils in full sun to partial shade.

Features
There are around 70 varieties, ranging from annuals and biennials to perennials and sub-shrubs. Form erect growing plants with varying coloured, occasionally scented flowers. Flowers are yellow, pink, red or pale green and occur through a long period over summer.

Propagation and maintenance
Directly sow seeds in mid-spring. Most varieties require staking when mature. Perennial and biennial varieties of N. alata and N. sylvestris may be over- wintered. Cover base with a dry mulch to protect over winter. Cut back to old wood in early spring and retain dead stems over winter to provide seed and refuge for insects.

Benefits
Attractive to a number of important insects, such as bees, butterflies and moths.


sunflower
10. Sunflower Helianthus spp

Height and spread
Most varieties grow in excess of 1.5m (5ft) but range from 40cm to 5m (16ins to15ft) x 1m to 1.2m (3 to 4ft).

Conditions
Requires full and prolonged sun in order to click now levitra pill flourish. Humus-rich, moist but well drained neutral to alkaline soil is favoured. Some varieties favour moist soils.

Features
The sunflower family has in excess of 80 different annual and perennial varieties. All are comparatively tall growing with large yellow flower heads.

Propagation and maintenance
Perennial varieties can be sown in spring in a cold frame. Annuals may be sown in cold frames in late winter or sown directly in spring. Perennials can be divided in spring or autumn. Retain dead stems over winter to provide seed sources and refuge for insects.

Benefits
Some annual varieties (for example H.annuus) attract birds to feed on the seeds. Also attractive to bees, butterflies and hoverflies.


knapweeds
=10: Knapweeds Centaurea spp

Height and spread
Variable. Some varieties may grow to 1.2m (4ft) tall, but generally 20 to 80cm (8 to 32ins) x 20 to 60cm (8 to 24ins).

Conditions
Hardy plants, preferring well-drained soil in full sun. A few varieties require moist well-drained soils in sun or partial shade.

Features
There are in excess of 450 varieties of Centaurea. They are grown either as perennials, biennials and annuals. The flower heads are distinctly spherical or hemispherical with tubular or lobed florets. Flowers can be mauve, pink, yellows and www.johnandpetes.com blues.

Propagation and maintenance
Annuals can be seeded directly in spring, while those of perennials may be sown under cover in a cold frame. Some varieties may be sown in autumn or propagated from root cuttings. They may be grown in borders and some varieties grow well in grass. Retain dead stems over winter to provide seed sources and refuge for insects.

Benefits
Particularly attractive to bees, butterflies, moths and hoverflies.


millet
=10: Millet Panicum

Height and spread
Generally 30cm to 1.2m (12ins to 4ft) x up to 60cm (4ft). Pearl millet grows much taller: 1.5 to 3m (5 to 10ft).

Conditions
A hardy group, which prefer moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun. They grow well in mixed or herbaceous borders.

Features
There are over 470 varieties of perennial, deciduous or evergreen millet. A very decorative plant; leaves vary in colour from light to dark green, purple or grey-green. Flowers grow in large showy panicles, rich in seeds.

Propagation and maintenance
Seeds can be sown directly in the spring. Spring and early summer is the best time to divide any perennial varieties.

Benefits
Millets are reasonably drought tolerant, particularly foxtail millet (Setaria italica) that is also attractive to house sparrows as a source of seed food.

 

Latest Active Threads

Latest Active Threads