Bird-Friendly Winter Gardens

Gardening for the Birds

Nothing helps relieve that “cabin fever” feeling during a long winter better than gazing out the window and watching birds play tag at the feeder or feeding on savory seeds plucked straight from your shrubs. Making your property more bird-friendly can attract and keep birds longer and create a pleasing landscape for you to enjoy too. For birds to make their winter residence in your garden, they need to have the basics: food, shelter and water. Shelter is easily managed with a few evergreen or conifers to provide protection from winter winds, ice and snow. Providing food and water is decidedly more challenging for birds when temperatures drop below freezing and the snow starts to pile up. Designing a garden to be bird-friendly during the winter months is no more difficult than designing an attractive year-round garden that contains persistent berries and seeds.

A bird-friendly garden

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Columbines and Granny’s Bonnets

The Beauty of Columbines

Old-fashioned Charming Columbines

Columbines are a delightful addition to the perennial garden. Forming an upright plant with fine lacy foliage, this plant is a favourite of many gardeners. Columbines bloom for many weeks in late May and early June. They have very interesting and highly decorated blooms. Whether they are purple, white, red, or yellow in colour, many columbine blooms resemble fancy bonnets. Columbines are perfect for an informal, woodland or cottage-style garden where it does not matter if plants change their location or self-seed thereby introducing a brand new colour. Even the name seems to fit a more natural garden style. The word columbine comes from Latin meaning dove. Earlier gardeners thought that columbine flowers resembled a cluster of doves.

Columbines are well loved because they are so easy to grow. Just give them a slightly well drained, sandy (or gravely) site and they

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