Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Garden Tip: Coneflowers are for the Birds

I love coneflowers, especially in the Midwest. They are indigenous and as a result are extremely hardy, reliable and require little water and care once established. Over the years they have come out with so many hybrids it could be easy to let them take over.

These prairie flowers also encourage a wildlife habitat to flourish in your garden. These great bloomers will attract the major pollinators, bees and butterflies. Once they go to seed the birds love them as well. Encouraging birds into your garden is great for insect control and they are also fun to watch.

My parents take allot of joy in feeding and nurturing the neighborhood birds. My dad loves trying new seed combinations that may attract more birds to their garden. Over the years I admit I have come to appreciate the joy of watching the birds, but buying bird seed and having bird feeders is a commitment and expense I am not ready for…my preference is allowing flowers to go to seed for them.

Coneflower seed pods are a favorite for the birds but let’s face it, you’re also growing the flowers for the blooms. If you are interested in letting these blooms go to seed you may want to deadhead normally in the beginning. This will allow the stems branch off and create even more flowers …AND as a result even more seed heads for the birds in the fall. This way both you and the birds will be happy!

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