Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Shrubs and Herbaceous Plants for Birds

To attract birds into our garden, we need to grow shrubs with berries, herbaceous plants that produce lots of seeds, so that there is plenty for them to eat especially during the winter.   The following is a shortlist of the ten best shrubs and herbaceous plants that do well in our area.  To have birds coming into our gardens for food is not only beneficial for them but also for us.  In addition to the berries, seeds and grains, many of them eat grubs, aphids and other insects and by doing so they help to keep the insects population under control.   Apart from food, birds love water for drinking and for taking a bath, plan to have a bird bath in your garden.

Before starting on the plants, the following are the most common birds you'll find visiting your garden:















  1. Robin - Rouge-gorge (fr) - Roodborstje (nl).
  2. Black cap - Fauvette à tête noire (fr) - Zwartkop (nl).
  3. The Tit family (White/Crested/Longtail Tit),  Blue Tit - Mésange Bleue - Koolmees. 
  4. Finches (Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Siskin),  Chaffinch - Pinson (fr) - Vink (nl).
  5. Blackbird - Merle (fr) - Merel (nl).
  6. Thrush - Grive (fr) - Lijster (nl)
  7. Nuthatch - Sittelle (fr) - Boomklever (nl).
  8. Wagtail - Hochequeue (fr) - Kwikstaart (nl).
  9. Treecreeper - Grimpereau des bois (fr) - Boomkruiper (nl).
  10. Hoepoe.
The ten best shrubs:
  1. Prunus spinosa - Sloe - Prunellier - Sleedoorn.
  2. Juniperus communis - Juniper - Genevrier - Jeneverbes.
  3. Ruscus aculeatus - Butcher's Broom - Le Fragon - Muisdoorn.
  4. Hedera - Ivy - Lierre - Klimop.
  5. Rosa - all roses with plenty of hips.
  6. Viburnum tinus.
  7. Pyracantha - Firethorn - Pyracantha - Vuurdoorn. 
  8. Mahonia.
  9. Cotoneaster.
  10. Eleagnus x ebbingui.
The ten best herbaceous plants:
  1. Gaillardia.
  2. Centaurea - Thistle - Chardon (fr) - Distels (nl).
  3. Calendula - Marigold - Souci des champs (fr) - Goudsbloem (nl).
  4. Viola - Violets/Pensies - Violets (fr) - Viooltjes (nl).
  5. Zinnia.
  6. Eryngium.
  7. Asters.
  8. Rudbeckia.
  9. Perovskia.
  10. Eragrostis/Miscanthus/Pennisetum/Stipa (grasses) available 'Pepiniere l'Armelette' - Sillans la Cascade.
Bibliography:  Web (bird photos); Complete Mediterranean Wildlife - Paul Sterry; Encyclopedia of Birds - Merehurst Press;  Saturday Telegraph - 26 January 2013.





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