Garden for Birds #4

I would like to know.....................

WHO STOLE SUMMER?????????????/

What did you do with it?

And where are you hiding it?

It seems as though just last week we were celebrating the beginning of summer.

Looking forward to our yards and gardens.

Planning vacations.

Now, parents are celebrating "BACK TO SCHOOL!"

That could mean more time in our yards and enjoying the fruits of our labor, however.

Enjoying our backyard guests.

We've seen visitors come and go.

And all the feathered families we helped raise.

Now it's time to think of visitors heading south.

Keep your feeders cleaned and filled.

Very important is a source of fresh water.

Quite often a stranger will stop for a drink and you may be fortunate enough to see your guests.

You may want to keep a camera handy.

It's getting time to think about fall projects in our yards.

It's time to let annuals go to seed and let some perennials go as well.

Say................ do you have any grasses in your yard?

I'm not referring to the grass you mow, or the stuff "Cheech and Chong" made so popular either.

I'm talking about ornamental grasses.

Ornamental grasses for your birds.

No,I haven't flipped my lid.

Grasses are becoming more popular in landscaping, yet have you thought of the possibilities for wildlife?

For birds?

Grasses come in many varieties from only a couple inches tall to 15 feet and taller.

They come with names like "Little Bunny" and "Giganteus"

"Flamingo" and " Little Zebra"

How about "Karley Rose" or "Karl Forrester"

Names are as unique as the grasses are.

Grasses can work as a ground cover, erosion control, a wind brake and look good while doing it.

Ornamental grass can make up a border, a barrier or become a focal point in your yard.

Grasses can also help feed and shelter birds.

This time of year, most grasses are flowering or have showy plumes.

Many of these plumes produce seeds for birds to munch on.

Foliage left up for the winter months provide wind brakes and protection from harsh winter winds

Birds may also make a mad dash to flee a predator.

Not to mention that the dry foliage and plumes can give depth and motion to an otherwise drab landscape.

In spring, birds will be using bits and pieces for their nests.

Cut back your grasses 2 to 4 inches from the ground before new growth starts.

Most grasses are hardy to zone 5 and many are hardy to zone 4

There are a few hardy to zone 3.

Once established, ornamental grass needs little care.

Grasses come in about every shade of green there is.

You can find shades of blue.

Grasses with shades of yellow

There are grasses with shades of red.

Grasses with horizontal stripes and some with vertical stripes.

Some varieties are drought tolerant.

Others may prefer moist conditions.

Most prefer sunny locations, while a few prefer shade.

The fact is, there will be a grass for your location.

You can even get annual grasses.

There are so many varieties to choose from I can't go through them all.

Check with your local garden center or nursery.

Have them recommend what is good for your yard.

Or, do some homework and see what you may prefer instead.

I have 6 varieties of grasses and I'm sure the collection will continue to grow as I find and make room for them.

You are sure to be hooked on grasses when you see a bird hanging onto a stalk and dancing in the wind.

An added bonus, grasses are deer resistant.

Check out the yards around you.

Hit the local garden centers and nurseries.

I'm sure you can find a grass for your yard.

Remember, fall is the best time to plant.

Well friend, it is time to get this letter sent out so I best get going.

Do have a blessed week and continue to smile.

Until next time.

Your friend,


Ron Patterson has been caring for wild birds since he was 10 years old. He has discovered many things along the way.

An avid gardener as well, Ron is a Michigan Certified Nurseryman.

With his expertise in birds and gardens, he writes a weekly newsletter called "Backyard Birding Tips"

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