Garden Spaces: Attract Birds, Butterflies and Hummingbirds

| August/September 2007

  • This garden is designed to draw visitors of the avian persuasion. To see a detailed legend of the plants in this garden, click on the Image Gallery.
    Illustration by Gayle Ford
  • Birds will be flitting around your garden with this arrangement. (To see this illustration enlarged, click on the image.)
    Illustration by Gayle Ford

• Design Plans: Entice Birds, Butterflies and Hummingbirds To Your Garden.

Your late-summer garden, with its riotous beauty and relaxed, sprawling shapes, is a fragrant, soothing alcove. Perhaps, like many, you think of your herb garden as a sanctuary or retreat. Why not let it be a sanctuary for the many beautiful winged creatures that also are drawn to its color and fragrance?

The garden illustrated here was designed to entice birds, butterflies and hummingbirds and provide for their needs. Given this colorful haven, your guests will want to stay awhile, come back often, spread the word and provide for you a constantly busy, musical and even raucous backdrop of twittering and flittering.

Know your hostess duties and provide the creature comforts of food and drink; a place to rest and nest; and a refreshing bath. Keep all parts of your yard organic to ensure that the environment is hospitable for them.

Get a good field guide for the birds of your region so you can learn to identify them, and keep your camera handy. Research online the butterflies that migrate through your territory, the nectar plants they seek and the host plants they use to lay their eggs on and feed their young. The interrelations of the natural world are an endless source of pleasure and learning for the gardener.

Draw Them In

Provide open areas for your guests to sun themselves in the afternoon, as well as shaded areas for the shy or weary. A bird bath becomes a social gathering spot for birds on a hot day, and trays at ground level, where water collects, become puddle clubs for butterflies. Add nesting boxes and bird houses suitable for the creatures you’re trying to attract.

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