The birds, the bees and the butterflies surely have you thinking about certain things, but this Tuesday Tip is not about sex, but rather, bringing birds, bees and butterflies into your garden!
If you want to enjoy the sights and sounds of birds, a bird feeder and bird bath are the easiest way to bring birds into your area. What kinds of birds will depend on where you are geographically, but also on the kind of food you put out. Song birds and finches love thistle, millet and smaller seeds. Cardinals love sunflower seeds. Click here for info on choosing the right food and feeder.
Keep fresh water around for the birds that visit. If you’re using a bird bath, make sure to change the water frequently. Providing homes for birds is also beneficial. We have two small birdhouses beneath a wisteria arbor and for the last ten years, we’ve had the same birds return to nest. They are tiny beautiful little songbirds and quite amusing to watch.
Butterflies are beautiful in the garden. The single best plant that I’ve put in the garden is a purple butterfly bush. Toward the end of the summer when it is in bloom, I have dozens of butterflies flitting amongst the flowers as well as some bees. Also choose brightly colored flowers to attract both butterflies and hummingbirds. Pink, purple and blue flowers are the best ones for drawing in butterflies. Remember to not use pesticides on the plants!
As for bees, they are one of the best pollinators you can have in the garden, but there is a serious decline in the U.S. bee population. In my own garden, I see a lot less bees in the area of plants that used to see a lot of bee activity.
How can you make your garden bee-friendly. Leave some areas free of mulch so that bees can build nests below-ground. Have large patches of plants with flowers and make sure there are blooms all summer long. Like some birds, bees seem to gravitate toward blues, purples and pinks in the garden. Also, do not use pesticides on the flowers. Finally, have an area where bees can get some water. Click here to check out a list of bee-friendly plants.
Hope this will help your summer months be filled with the beautiful B’s — birds, bees and butterflies!
On another note — Carol G is the winner of the Women, Words and Wisdom blog contest. Please email me your postal address so I can send your prize.