Howdy and welcome to the NW region blog for Birds and Blooms! I’m so excited to be your regional reporter/blogger and hope to encourage and inspire you in your birding, gardening and even in your DIY projects. So let’s get this blog rolling!
To start things off I want to give you a little tour of the garden out in our front yard.
It took me two years to get the design down on paper and with the help of my best friend Jackie and my husband Ben (he’s amazing), installed it back in 2000.
This year it will be going through some much-needed renovations to reduce overgrown shrubs and open up more space for growing annuals and maybe some veggies too. I’ll be sharing updates so check back to see what’s happening.
Why a garden in the front yard? Well, we live on a very busy street and we desperately needed a buffer of some kind out there so it made sense to me to put a garden there instead of just having a boring patch of lawn. I wanted something to attract wildlife that would also be an oasis for all the people walking by as its tough on all of us living on this noisy, busy street. It was also the largest open space available and an upgrade in the curb appeal…well that is never a bad thing.
Its amazing how many more birds began to show up all most immediately after we got it planted. Before the garden we had a few sparrows, robins, a chickadee or two and finches and once in a while a few Juncos. Now it’s hard to walk outside without hearing an alerting call of one of our feathered guests or having them fly in if I’m near the feeders to see what I’m up to.
My understanding, appreciation and sensitivity to the birds in this region has also grown because of us planting this garden though in all honesty, that was not my initial goal. To be dead honest, the garden was needed as a home for all the plants I had collected while working in nurseries, one of the hazards of being a plant addict. The delight I have in watching the birds came as a bit of a surprise to me at first and I found that I loved it so much that I helped bring a balance of interests to my gardening.
These days I don’t collect plants so much but am always looking to get more bird varieties to visit our yard. One of my favorite things is having birds flying in to see what I’m up to while I’m refilling the feeders. What a joy! I know a lot of people (my husband included) think I was crazy for ripping out our lawn to create this garden but it has been such a delight to have I’d do it again in a heart beat.
By the way, the garden is also a certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation, which basically means our yard provides shelter, food and water for the birds and wildlife and we garden responsibly with regard to use of chemicals. You can find out more about Backyard Wildlife Habitat certification at http://www.nwf.org/Get-Outside/Outdoor-Activities/Garden-for-Wildlife/Create-a-Habitat.aspx
Blessings and happy birding!