Look Out For The Birds This Winter
Gardeners love a colourful and interesting garden bursting with flowers and plants that have been carefully considered and placed so they thrive and give us joy through the seasons. But it’s not all about the aesthetic, so many gardeners research what they plant to ensure they attract wildlife to their gardens and can also take care of the birds as winter sets in as finding food gets a little harder for our garden friends. In this blog, we look at how we can all look out for the birds this winter.
It can be as simple as letting some plants go to seed, the Rudbeckia Little Gold Star, (Black Eyed Susan) is a good example of a perennial that is great for this. It blooms late into October so gives you plenty of flowers through the summer and into the autumn but can then be left to seed. This should give you a few more plants the following season whilst also providing a little something for the birds to enjoy! Bees and butterflies also love this plant, it does earn its little gold star!
Planting the Viburnum Tinus Eve Price is sure to be a winner with birds too. It’s a popular evergreen shrub that provides year-round interest. They produce clusters of small pink buds which open to pinkish-white flowers followed by dark blue-black fruit which birds love. They perform well in shady locations, tolerate wind, and are worth considering if you are looking to create hedging. This superb variety has received the RHS award of garden merit and the RHS perfect for pollinators award.
If you are looking for ways to brighten the garden too, don’t forget it is Hellebore season, and whilst there are no berries to be had you can add a few flower heads to your bird bath to create a bit of interest. They won’t get in the way and they can look quite sweet. Hellebores can be planted now, they are hardy and low maintenance and perfect for those looking for winter flowering plants. We grow the prestigious Helleborus Gold Collection® which currently has 30% off.
It’s not only what we plant that helps us to look out for the birds this winter, it’s also what we can provide by way of shelter and specific foods that they benefit from. Birdhouses are a great addition to your garden and there are so many to choose from. We have recently launched a competition with Hewmade who make a stylish birdhouse inspired by traditional birdhouses, but with a contemporary design style and crafted with high-quality materials, which becomes more beautiful with age. Built using oak and clad with western red cedarwood, it will welcome a variety of birds to your garden.
Birdfood is also important through the winter, frost makes the ground harder and the insects and grubs are all hibernating or buried beneath the ground so we have also partnered with Kennedy Wild Bird Food to include a sack of superior high-energy bird seed in our competition.
Don’t forget that kitchen scraps and leftovers can also make ideal snacks for birds. Fat from your meat, roast potatoes, vegetables, pastry, cheese, cake, and biscuits are all suitable and you can find out more about how from the RSPB here. Perhaps sharing the Christmas leftovers is a nice idea!
The current cold snap means we are indoors a little more so whilst watching the birds from the window it’s also the perfect time to do a little planning for next year in the garden. Take a look at our website, we’ve some lovely perennials, and maybe register to receive our newsletter so we can keep you up to date with all our offers, tips, and advice.
What We Are Doing..
At the nursery we are making sure we look out for the birds this winter with the addition of eleven bird boxes to the site. (Below is one in use!)
At Golden Valley Plants we like to do our bit to support wildlife so in addition to offering plants that the bees, birds and butterflies like we have also added three bat boxes and planted 250 holly plants across the site, word is spreading in bird circles that there’s a feast in store!