backyard bird feeders

by Debbie
(Marinette, Wisconsin)

Could you please give me suggestions for creating a backyard lawn island, perhaps raised, to accommodate bird feeders and/or bird baths?

I would like to also include some flowering plants. This will be located in my back yard (approx 100x50) with a view of the bay of Lake Michigan (zone 4, full sun). We currently have a feeder for larger birds, and another for smaller birds, with lots of seeds spilling onto the ground. I'd like to separate this area for easier mowing and aesthetics. This will be close to some established pine trees on the property side line with no other plants or buildings. Thank you!!

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Backyard Bird Feeders Design
by: Susan

Hi Debbie,

Placing bird feeders and a bird bath in a separate planting bed could look very nice, because then the bird features become subtly integrated into the landscape. In addition, by choosing the right plants, you will attract more birds.

Consider a long curvilinear bed with shrubs, perennials and perhaps even a flowering tree at one end so as not to block what sounds like a lovely view.

Blue Holly, such as China Girl, woven throughout the bed will provide greenery throughout the winter. They also produce red berries, which the birds love. Consider planting perennials in front of the shrubs for color. Black-eyed Susan's and Nepeta 'Walkers low' would look great.

A flowering Dogwood Tree or a Star Magnolia could be placed on one end with possibly a few Forsythia at the other end. Forsythia are under played. I have one outside my kitchen window and at times have had as many as eight cardinals perched there. With feeders nearby, you can't go wrong.

Place a nice bird bath in front of the Hollies where it will stand out against the evergreen background.

It's a little difficult to visualize your setting exactly, but I hope I have at least given you some ideas.


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