Not long ago, we wrote about the landscape packages we offer and how we work to create plans that avoid a cookie cutter feel in our neighborhoods. In that post, we also mentioned that landscape upgrades are rare due to the fact that most buyers feel they have a handle on how to go about customizing their own yards.
Landscaping choices, like indoor decorating, are based on individual preferences. Maybe you’re looking for an attractive yard that requires very little maintenance? Perhaps you don’t mind a little maintenance in exchange for the liveliness of birds and butterflies visiting your yard. If so, this post can help.
It’s all in the plants
There are as many plant options to choose from as there are varieties of birds and butterflies, but there are several rules of thumb you can use to get started. For example, trees and shrubs that produce berries, such as hollies and nandinas, are attractive to birds, and make for beautiful borders around your property line or to mask the foundation of your home.
Also, flowering plants that produce a large amount of seed provide a much needed food source for songbirds such as cardinals, sparrows and finches. Depending on your color preferences, your options include goldenrod, sunflowers, aster, snapdragons and more. The key is to not cut the spent flowers off at the end of blooming season, but rather allow them to dry and hang in place – the birds will love them.
Butterflies are a little more finicky
While most birds migrate, butterflies have cyclical lives and only survive for a short period of time. Birds will often return over the course of a few years to the same spots they know they can rely on for food. Attracting butterflies requires a different plan, however.
Butterflies become most active when the temperatures are above 60 degrees, and it’s widely believed that they are nearsighted. For those reasons, the most successful butterfly gardens consist of brightly colored flowers in sunny areas of your yard. Also, like birds, butterflies will perch on surfaces that are comfortable to them. So place rocks that will warm up in the sunlight nearby.
The good news is that many of the same plants that attract birds will also attract varieties of butterflies. Great options for attracting both include goldenrod, aster, thistles and black-eyed susans. For a taller, more full option that works great up against your house or in a bed, choose from the many different colors of butterfly bushes available.
Whether you enjoy watching birds and butterflies from inside your home or from your deck, these tips will help attract them to your yard. This post is meant as an overview of available options, we’d love to hear about what you’ve done that’s worked for you. Better yet, find us on facebook and share some pictures of your garden!
Oh, one more thing – don’t forget the birdbath!