Making Your Garden An Inviting Habitat For Birds

Birds are amazing creatures and they are simply entertaining to watch and listen to. No wonder, a lot of people are encouraged to keep birds in cages so they can watch these beautiful flying creatures closely. However, you can still enjoy birds and their songs without locking them up in a cage. If you have a garden, you can recreate this space into a welcoming oasis where birds can fuel up and take refuge. Below are some useful tips to get you started.

Know the birds and their needs

The first step that you have to take is to know what types of birds frequent in your area. Find out about the plants that have the food they need. The more you know about them, the easier for you to give them what they need. At the most, birds require accessible food sources, water and places to make their nests. They do not like places where predators are lurking. So be sure to keep these things in mind when you tend to your garden.

Think variety

Just like people, different birds have different food preferences. Some birds eat seeds, some love fruits, while others feast on insects or nectar. Hence, if you want to attract a wide array of birds into your garden, consider growing a number of plant varieties–combine flowers, ground covers, fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. The greater the mix of vegetation you can give, the greater variety of birds will be enticed to hang out in your garden.

Layer the look

Birds love to congregate in environments with multi-tiered and densely packed arrangements of plants. So when planting, aim for a tiered effect. For instance, you can put larger trees at the borders, followed by lower trees, fruiting shrubs, and clumps of bushes and vines, then tall grasses, blooms and ground covers. This is a pleasing composition that mimics nature and will supply sustenance, refuge and protection to different kinds of birds year in and year out.

Keep bird feeders year-round

All too often, homeowners bring out their bird feeders during cold months when birds spend nearly all their time and energy seeking for food. This should not be the case in your garden, though. Keep feeders filled for spring and summer, too, so that you will get patrons year-round. As an added bonus, you’ll get to enjoy the colorful plumage of birds while you sit back and relax in your garden.

Quench their thirst

Birds get thirsty, too. So aside from the plants, provide them a source of water as well. You can use birdbaths around your landscape to give your flying visitors splashy spots where they can drink and bathe. Just make sure that each basin is just two inches deep so that birds can easily drink and they should also have a rough surface for better grip.

To protect the birds from lurking predators while they drink and bathe, position the birdbaths a few feet from shrubs or trees so that the immediate perimeter is open, but close enough to sheltered areas where they can easily getaway. Likewise, always keep the birdbaths clean and add fresh water daily. You can also outfit them with birdbath heaters so that they would still be accessible to birds during winter. To further invite birds, you may also use bubblers and misters along with birdbaths.

Hang houses

Nesting pairs will find refuge in your garden if you include birdhouses in the landscape. The placement and the size of holes of the birdhouses will depend on the type of species you are trying to invite. For instance, wrens love to nest in areas surrounded by trees, but other birds like purple martins prefer raising their broods in big, open areas.

To prevent territorial disputes, build the birdhouses away from feeding stations and each box should have a space of a minimum of 25 feet in between. Also, choose sturdy materials when building and securing the boxes in place. It is recommended to stay away from using nesting boxes with perches as they are a magnet for pest birds.

This guest post was written by Ericka for Lothian Skip Hire, a premier skip hire in Falkirk. Ericka has been writing articles about a wide variety of topics for some years now. However, she is particularly interested in providing helpful posts about gardening, outdoor living and home improvement.






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5 Common But Dangerous Plants That You Could Have In Your Yard

When it comes to your health and the health of your family and your pets, you tend to think of the obvious dangers that you need to stay away from. What most people don’t realize is that there could be harmful items located right in your backyard.

There are many plants that are dangerous to humans and/or animals, and it’s possible that you have some of the following dangerous plants lurking in your backyard.

1. Rhubarb

Yes, it’s true that rhubarb is used as a food in many tasty desserts, but only the stem of the plant is safe. The leaves of rhubarb are actually very poisonous, and if you consume them, whether cooked or uncooked, you could experience burning of the throat or mouth. After the burning is over, you could experience internal bleeding, convulsions, coma or even death. If you want to grow rhubarb, it’s best done in an area that is safe from pets or other animals.

2. Oleander

Oleander is a very beautiful flower that looks and smells great, and it’s one of the most popular choices when it comes to gardens and flower beds. However, Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants, especially when it comes to children. What makes Oleander so dangerous is that it’s not just poisonous to consume, but it’s also poisonous to the touch. Symptoms of poison from an Oleander plant include vomiting and diarrhea, cramping, seizures, coma and death.

3. Hydrangea

Hydrangeas are another popular plant when it comes to yard décor. They can grow to be very tall, and they are available in an assortment of colors. If you were to consume a hydrangea, you would experience massive stomach pain, sweating, itchy skin and even vomiting. In most cases, vomiting is the worst of the symptoms, but some cases of coma have been reported from hydrangea consumption.

4. Chrysanthemum

Many people plant chrysanthemums (or mums) in their yards or near their gardens because they’re known to keep rabbits away. But chrysanthemums are also poisonous to humans. Touching the head of a chrysanthemum could make you experience red and itchy skin along with some minor swelling. Although that’s the worst that will happen, it can still be a nuisance.

5. Rhododendron

Rhododendrons are popular flowers to decorate a lawn due to their bell-like shape, but rhododendron leaves and the honey nectar they produce are very toxic. If you were to eat either the leaves or the honey, you could experience a burning mouth, vomiting, diarrhea or a tingling feeling in your body. Some people have also experienced convulsions and fallen into a coma, and others have experienced a slower heartbeat and difficulty breathing.

Even though most adults know not to consume a flower, young children and animals are often curious and put things into their mouth. It’s very important that you know which plants in your yard are poisonous and keep them out of the reach of children and animals in order to keep them safe.

Jessica Crouch is a landscape expert and avid gardener who loves writing about common plants and ways to deal with herbal pests.

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The quality of your pet food is important

I’ve always believed that it’s important to feed my pets the healthiest diet I possibly can in order to ensure their health.  Even when I had reptiles (yes I had several lizards at once believe it or not!) I used to make special salads for my iguana and prepare special food to feed the crickets that were fed to my lizards.  So you can only imagine that now that I have a dog how careful I am about her food.

Luckily there are high quality dog foods out there – you just have to do a little research to make sure it really does have quality ingredients like those described in the above information.

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My Labrador Retriever Midnight has been eating quality dog food since she came to live with us at eight weeks of age.  She was quite ill when we got her and we had to give her a lot of tender loving care to make her healthy.

She’s four years old now and she’s doing great.  Obviously from the photos and stories that I post every now and then you can see that she’s a great dog.

She has a great personality and I think she might even have a sense of humor .. because she’s downright silly … just look at this last picture – I swear she posed for this by rolling over with her favorite bone in her mouth. I call her my silly girl.

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How do you care for your dog? Do you try to feed your dog a food with quality ingredients?

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