Birds and bees gardening can be a lot of fun when done right. Not only is it a clever idea but also an important one at that. Creating an oasis for all types of birds, that visit your home, can be nothing short of a miracle. Not to mention waking up to the sounds of the gentle humming and singing of these adorable creatures is always delightful.
When thinking about doing this, there is a perfect season to start and this would be winter. If you have already put up the main attraction such as a bird feeder, providing them with food is the first step towards getting this project going. Plus, they will get through the winter months and call your home, their home.
This article will be divided into two sections, one for the birds and the other for the bees. The two important aspects that keep the Earth moving and the garden growing. Let’s jet off to the winged creatures then, shall we?
Attracting the Birds Through A Well-Planned Garden
When considering what food to give the birds, try and find out which ones come to you for feeding and choose to fill their feeding trays with those seeds. One can get a variety of feeders at the bird or home stores, which range from cages, tubes, platforms, and hoppers. Whatever food you place in them should match their feeding habits.
Some gardeners opt to have a few different types in their garden depending on how big your space is, and how many birds come to feed on average per day. You will find a lot of them returning and staying in the trees above, not traveling too far from their “home”.
Food such as black sunflower seeds or suet and thistle can be a good general option for most of them. This alone can draw over 15 different species to your garden. The next step would be the plants, the flora and fauna included in the garden.
Alongside these bird feeders, don’t forget to include a birdbath and drinking water for them too. And if you want to spoil them, you can even add a birdbath heater into their feeders which is similar to a human’s hot tub. Imagine the joy in that for them?
Many plants provide natural food for birds, if you do some research on this, you can find the right ones and plant them all around the space. Plants such as holly have red berries and are often ripe during the autumn season. Birds that are attracted to them include the redwings, fieldfares, and blackbirds (that sing some of the best songs), or you can plant honeysuckle which is the best plant to have in small spaces, and it provides food and shelter for them, plus in summer the scent of its flowers attracts insects too.
The National Geographic website provides some helpful insight into the ideal plants and flowers to grow that will furnish these little creatures with food and shelter. If you are lucky you’ll soon be seeing them regularly. Take a look at this link to learn more about which would probably become your mainstays depending on the plants you have in your garden. Sparrows, buntings, and goldfinches feed on the seeds of teasel plants. During autumn months they provide this to the birds which feast on them abundantly. You should also not forget to plant evergreens in your setting, as these will attract an array of different species. We’re referring to pine, cedar, juniper berries, Virginia, plus spruce for example.
This is also an essential component to add to the above elements because it will make for a safe and sturdy nesting place for them, you can even make one out of natural materials such as shrubs, twigs, and sticks from your garden, so pick a pair of garden shears that is essential for garden cutting and get going into some DIY action of your own. You can add some juniper berries to it, some holly, or even use some evergreen leaves to make a wreath like a nest for them to put on the inside of the house, makes for a nice and cozy spot to rest.
These are the traditional aspects of any garden and should be placed in various locations in and around the place. Put them on fences or poles, even inside trees and bushes but nowhere near predators can get to them.
These two will depend on the types of birds around. For instance, the purple martins will prefer the high-rise facilities to nest in, and they do this via colonies, while the bluebirds prefer the narrower homes with the smaller entrances. The Carolina wrens, however, will nest just about anywhere, including in your belongings kept in the garage. Do some further research about this too, it will be a joy once you get it right.
Attracting the Bees Through A Well-Planned Garden
Another very important little flying creature that one can plant a garden for is the bee. So much can be said about these little guys and their furry flying habits The most important one is that they have been seen to become less and less throughout the world, and were dubbed as “dying species” by one of the online sources, it seems that due to climate change, the use To some people they are annoying little creatures. If only people learned how fundamental they are to society, they would think differently. This is why encouraging them into your garden is a key part of any household. Did you know that bees provide us with almost 90% of the food we eat daily and that over 30% of plants are pollinated by them? Read more on this website. They are one of the best catalysts for plant reproduction. They help transfer the pollen from the male plants to the female ones meticulously.
A lot of research has gone around this topic and the conclusion has been that if bees disappear from the earth completely, so will we. It will lead to famine, and that’s the basis of it all. So, let’s see how we can keep these guys coming back and increasing them as much as we can.
The bees we see in our gardens or public places are just 2% of the many other varieties out there.
Types of Bees on Earth
- Common Carder Bee. These are the fluffy bumblebees that we see usually on flowering plants everywhere.
- Honey Bee. Also, the more popular ones that we see in public, they are black and gold and produce honey for human consumption (also something that is controversial)
- White-tailed Bumble Bee. As the name suggests this guy has a white tail and is also a social bumblebee.
- Early Bumble Bee. This little guy is smaller than the average bumblebee and is good looking too. He has lemon yellow stripes across his body and a bright orange behind.
- The Patchwork Leaf-Cutter. When you see semi-circular holes in the leaves of plants in your back yard, this could be a sign that he has been there.
- The Red Mason. This is a common one too and is ginger-colored. He is quite cute and can be spotted in mortar walls mainly.
These are just a handful of the many others out there.
Plants or Herbs
Everybody loves an herb garden either inside their kitchens or their back yards, we love the taste and smell of a freshly grown herb, and so do these little honeybees. There are several herbs that we can grow in our gardens today that will attract them and give them food as well. Especially for those who are short of space in their gardens, they can easily grow these in their flower pots on their patio or balcony.
Some of the herbs one can grow to include below 5:
- Rosemary (shrub or creeping)
In terms of flowering herbs one can grow, these range from the popular Angelica, which has a rich-nectar that honeybees love to feed on, plus these don’t need too much sun and partial shade is plenty for them.
In the end, plants that you can grow for pollen and nectar will be the best suited for this purpose. If you are going for this type of garden choose anything from the popular wool-like plants such as Verbascum or Stachys (lambs’ ears).
During the summer you can grow lavender, foxgloves, cardoon, Agastache, to name a few. During winter your options include snowdrops, Japanese anemones, honeysuckle, mahonia, crocuses, and ivy for example. Throw in some springtime flowers such as daffodils, bugle, hawthorn, sea thrifts, hyacinth, apple, and flowering cherry, and your bees will be the happiest creatures alive. There are plants for every season, and in every season the bees will come.
Don’t forget to have a source of water around as well. Either a natural rock pool or a bee hotel, to make things a bit more creative. This structure acts as a breeding and nesting cave for them especially for the solitary types like the mason bees. The Wildlife Trust website has an easy way to make one that you could follow.