Garden Design Tips For The Birds
With summer in full swing and your summer garden design coming along nicely. Let’s think about the birds that are attracted to your garden!

Garden Design Tips For The Birds

Birds are on a mission to fatten up before the cold of winter and can be seen looking for food. In the past, most of our indigenous birds survived well during our Cape Winters and found enough food. However, their available habitats are now being more and more encroached upon by new houses and developments. With their food sources dwindling, it is nice to give them a helping hand at this time of the year through some clever landscaping and garden design. Their primary diet of seeding grasses and weeds,  flowering and fruiting trees and insects only provides flushes of food during the year, and there are inevitably lean times when handouts, from those wanting to attract them to their garden, are welcome.

FOR NECTAR DRINKERS

Common nectar drinkers in the Cape garden are the cute white-eyes, and the beautiful sunbirds. You can easily make a DIY nectar feeder from an old cool drink bottle or from a modified drip-water bottle usually used for caged hamsters and rodents. Most nurseries also stock ‘hummingbird’ feeders. To help nectar drinkers recognize their new food source, the spout should be painted bright red (and the solution-dyed red) and hung in an open spot near a red-flowered bush or tree that is already being used as a food station. Fill the feeder with a sugary solution (white sugar only), about 20% sugar with water.

GRAIN FEEDERS

Seeds of grasses and other cereals are easiest to provide and literally any type will do. Generally the smaller the grain, the more popular it will be with a variety of birds. Lawn seed is often very popular! Millet often sold in a mixture with other grains called ‘wild bird seed’ is also an easily available source. Feeding on the ground won’t necessarily bring the best results as the doves and pigeons will move in quickly denying the smaller birds a chance. Elevate the food table or use a swinging tray from a tree branch (better as the doves can’t land on it), the higher the better, so the birds can keep a good lookout for cats and other predators.

FRUIT FEEDERS

Fruit offerings shouldn’t be left on the ground, as generally the birds familiar with fruit are used to it being up in the trees. While some species are used to eating ripe fruit off the ground, generally it is better to put whole fruits (not cut up pieces as they dry out) onto a nail, spike or thorny branch to prevent the fruits from being knocked off onto the ground. Apple and pears are good but don’t forget the soft fruits as well such as avo, pawpaw, orange and banana which the white-eyes love. Apples are particularly loved by black collared and crested barbets.

MEAT-EATERS

The meat-eaters would be happy for an offering of suet or bonemeal. Common fiscals, bokmakierie and tits, as well as white eyes, will be attracted. The suet and bonemeal can be hung in separate bags from tree branches in netting bags. A small branch next to it will help other species of birds who can’t hang from the bag itself. A suet cake can easily be made, using broken peanuts, raisins, honey, bran or pronutro and dried powdered peas, beans or lentils and melted suet. Mix this all up together after the suet has melted and while cooling. Allow the mixture to set in chunks or press into the spaces on a pinecone for convenient bird take-aways!

Happy bird watching!

Bougainvilleas – So Bright & Bold

Cheer Up Your Garden With Some Bougainvillea Colour! Expert advice on growing this cheerful climbing shrub called the Boungainvillea.

Architectural Plants

Today’s blog is list of plants, shrubs and trees which can be used as architectural form plants to create an eye catching piece in your garden. By adding a couple of carefully chosen plants, trees and shrubs one can go far to increasing the appeal of your garden and adding interest and dimension. Turn dull uniform areas, into modern, jaw dropping show ‘pieces’.

Butterflies in the garden

Everyone is charmed by butterflies! They represent metamorphosis, hope through change and are symbolic of the life-cycle of all living things. Some are brilliantly patterned and coloured with kaleidoscopic markings.

Let Your Garden Shine

Who wouldn’t want to follow this path into the cool night air? So you’ve spent hours perfecting your garden; considered the most functional layout, the prettiest features, comfortable furniture, interesting plants, and your lawn is your personal victory. It’s such a pleasure to have such a beautiful and calm space to enjoy. Weekends with family and friends, perhaps by the pool, pets and children frolicking in the open air.

Attracting Garden Birds. Feeders & Beyond – Everything You Need To Know

Enjoy the beauty and heart-warming joy that garden birds bring. Learn how to attract various different birds to your garden.

Companion Planting for the Veggie Garden

It’s now a well-known fact that certain plants grow better when planted near to each other as they improve each other’s well-being and protect each other from attack by insect pests. Now this is the kind of gardening I like, letting Nature lead the way and do the work!

Child Safety in The Garden

Every year, many children are rushed to the hospital due to accidents that occur in the home and garden. Checking your garden is safe for the littlest members of your family is important and here are some tips and advice for making yours as safe as possible.

Artificial Greening – Our Growing Range of Artificial Plants

Don’t be fooled! Faux is the new cool! The new possibilities for using synthetic or ‘fake’ plants for greening up your interior and outdoor living spaces are reaching new heights, quite literally!

March is for Garden Maintenance

Essential garden maintenance tips on activities you need to perform during Autumn. A winter-ready garden guarantees a lovely Spring garden.

HELPFUL GARDENING TIPS FOR MARCH

The climate starts cooling down and in particular night temperatures go down. So this is the time of the year when you still practice summer maintenance but at the same time start planting and preparing for cooler climate gardening.

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