Attracting Wildlife to Your Winter Landscape
By Kerry Ann Mendez
Providing a food source for birds and other wildlife during the winter is a fun hobby that can attract some fascinating creatures into your backyard to view and enjoy. However, you're not just limited to bird feeders and houses - there are plenty of fruit and seed bearing plants that will do the job just as well!
Transform your backyard into a dining room for wildlife as well as a source of brilliant color with the following no-fuss, striking plants. Simply place them in a spot where they can be easily seen from a frequently used room in your home and enjoy.
Save money on bird seed by planting these seed-packed perennial treats for our feathered friends (remember not to cut these back in the fall):
- Coneflower (Echinacea) Native
- Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) Native
- Sea Holly (Eryngium)
- Globe Thistle (Echinops)
- Many ornamental grasses including Switch Grass (Panicum) and Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium) Both Native
Expand the wildlife buffet with these berry-loaded shrubs:
- Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata) Native
- Elderberry (Sambucus)
- Many Viburnums including V. nudum ‘Winterthur’
- Chokeberry (Aronia) Native
Branch out with these woody plants that showcase colorful winter stems or bark:
- Red or Yellow Stemmed Dogwood (Cornus alba, sericea and sanguinea)
- Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)
- Weeping Willow (Salix alba)
And the bonus with all of these winter delights? Most of them also have lovely flowers that both you and nectar-loving pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds can enjoy.
About the Author
KERRY ANN MENDEZ is an award-winning garden educator, author and design consultant based in southern Maine. Her latest book is The Budget-Wise Gardener. You'll now find her at Estabrook's consulting on garden design, answering your gardening questions and much more. Plus, don't miss her Garden Webinar series!