In order to attract birds, we began by planting a few trees, shrubs and climbers as a backbone to the garden. Initially though, these plants were merely resting-places, as they were all fairly small and spindly-looking specimens. Each successive year, however, we added more, bringing the total to approximately sixty trees and eighty shrubs.
When the growth was small, the birds searched for insects in our herbaceous borders. Annuals such as poppies, cornflower, sunflowers and foxgloves, as well as Solomon’s seal, primroses and thymes, all of which bear flowers which attract all manner of insects - butterflies, bees and hoverflies – were planted to feed hungry birds and their young.
As the trees and shrubs matured, the birds began to use them as places to roost and feed. Many of those, such as the rowans, cotoneasters, dogwoods and honeysuckles, were specially chosen for the berries they carry in the Autumn, while others, such as the conifers, ivies, and our beech hedge, have made excellent nesting sites.
Flambouyant! - Today's flambouyant (Royal poinciana) blooms take the show. I grew this tree from seeds I collected in Guyana 5 and a half years ago.
1 year ago