Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A New Twist on Putting out Seed for the Birds

Some flowers ripen into seedheads that add interest to the garden. However some of these same flowers will bloom again if you remove or deadhead them. Additionally, the seedheads can provide food for wildlife you want to attract to your yard. One such flower in my gardens is coneflower. I have tried a variety of treatments to try to achieve all three benefits. This year I tried a new approach that has been very successful.

When my conflowers developed dried seedheads, I clipped them back to where they looked like they might bud out again. This left me with a huge pile of seedhead stalks. I poked a few of the shorter ones into the ground under my birdfeeder. I gathered handfuls of the taller ones and pushed them into the ground around and partially supported by a teepee style metal trellis in my back garden that is not too far from my birdfeeder. I liked the way the seedheads looked all bunched around the base and my trimmed coneflowers in the front garden did have a small rebloom after the pruning. Now, would I actually see any birds visit my seed art?

It took a while for the right birds to show up. In December, American goldfinch began filtering back into the area. They have really been enjoying the coneflower spread I set out. The first picture in this post is one of the first birds I saw eating from the seedheads. There are a bunch of goldfinches in the second photo. How many do you see? Tell me in the comments. You can click on the image to see a larger view.

What have you done or can you do that is outside the box to support wildlife in your yard? I definitely plan to recreate my coneflower feeding station next year.

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