Native Garden Design Gardening for Birds
Gardening for Birds
Alan and Paula’s home backs to a wildlife haven, a park managed by the city. Before Landscape Design in a Day, they set up many bird feeders and thoroughly enjoyed watching the various species visit. From day one, we knew this would be a garden for the birds. Our mission is to make better places for the humans to enjoy watching the birds. They already loved their back yard but spent all their time up on their deck. They wanted a professional garden designer who would care about their desires and have the skills to pull it all together. We knew we would create multiple sitting areas that get our clients out into the property and bring more of what birds love to the property to entice them to visit and further enhance bird watching.
Better views into a native garden design
The homeowners spend a lot of time in an office that looks directly into the barren side garden toward the park. The foreground view was rough lawn and a lot of fence. That window led some of the important design decisions, such as where to put the focal point water feature. Now every outdoor sit spot AND the indoor office chairs can see and hear the cascading water.
Water – Bring the birds in – native garden design
Native plants are important, but the best feature to attract birds and keep them coming back is water. This naturalistic water feature brings so much delight to the homeowners. In our native garden design, a large pre-drilled boulder is placed on a steel box called an echo chamber, which is then covered in smaller stones to hide the chamber. The echo chamber under the boulder amplifies that beautiful bubbling water sound so that it can be heard from the deck and inside the office.
Shelter and safety for birds
The next item needed for a bird paradise is shelter – usually in the form of trees. All birds need to be able to hide from sky predators like hawks and ground predators like cats.
We kept plants low around the water feature with native plants like Indian plum nearby for fast escape. The birds also use the top of the fence to survey for ground predators like cats. (Keep birds safe with a catio.) The adjacent park provides perfect trees for nesting. This park already had an upper canopy of native Madrone (Arbutus menziesii) and Doug Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) as well as a mid canopy of Vine Maple (Acer circinatum) and others. Paula and Alan provide fresh water and food plants plus their multiple feeding stations of seed, suet and more.
Gardening for Birds
Native garden design – plants that provide food for birds
Of course, the last big element to attract birds to the yard is food. For example, the homeowners love the band-tailed pigeon visitors, so we were sure to add native Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa). These birds also love madrone berries but we didn’t have the right spot in our native garden design for madrone but there was a large 50′ tall madrone 500′ away in the park. Perfect for band-tails and also for band-tail pigeons here are other native plants that provide food for birds; Indian Plum (Oemleria ceraciformis), and Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia). Paula and Alan also maintain multiple feeding stations of various seeds, suet and more.
Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is an important food for birds. The berry is a good backyard snack for people as well, if you can beat the birds to it.
Hardscape Landscaping Construction
The hardscape landscape was completed by Lewis Landscape. Check out the amazing execution of the stairs and wall we designed.
The old wall and stairs were falling apart, which gave me the perfect opportunity to redesign it entirely. The old stairs were too narrow and right up against the underbelly of the deck. It was fine for a utility work area but not for a sit spot. The new design creates the opportunity to create two comfortable sit spots where the homeowners can enjoy their natural surroundings. Room for plants and the new wide stairs make movement between the spaces gracious and inviting.
“Carol and Alana, I cannot tell you how much we enjoy the yard. The path we asked you to widen just enough to contain pots (to which you added more width to) became big enough to put two lounge chairs and a little table. This is now our favorite sitting spot.”
“The water feature was perfectly placed as we can see it from the deck, from the yard, (some from the dining room) and very well from the office. The birds LOVE it – all from bandtailed pigeons to hummingbirds. We get the biggest kick out of watching them enjoy it. Not to mention, the sound is perfect and the natural look goes well with the our new more woodsy landscape.”
“We love the yard, the steps, the new plants, the walkways, the fountain and so do the birds and bees and woodland creatures. It was a perfect design for us.”
“Creating our own base map of our yard (with the kit) made us better design partners. We felt like we helped create our paradise too.”
Please note our clients provided to us most of the after photos in this blog.
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