Garden Tip 85:


In the past I have talked of the importance of using evergreens in the garden to lend form and structure to the landscape and to act as the winter “bones” of the garden. Evergreens are an important ingredient in bird-friendly landscaping as well.

Many bird species prefer to nest in evergreen trees and shrubs because their dense growth offers excellent concealment of vulnerable nests. A few nests I have noted thus far this season include cardinals in the English Holly and robins and catbirds in the Japanese Ilex.

I am happy to report as well that a Carolina wren family is living in the arborvitae in the front garden this season, instead of above the potting bench in the garage as it did last year or in the window box below the kitchen window the year before. Oftentimes I will be working in the garden and the evergreens will erupt with a cacophony of bird calls.

Checking things out, I will usually spot a hawk circling silently above or discover our neighbor’s cat, Mia, slinking through the perennials hopefully on the hunt for moles or voles. Evergreens in the garden are multipurpose, attracting birds, adding color, form and structure, and they can act as windbreaks, fences, and privacy walls.