ernest fenceline in november

Garden Chores For Birds

goldenrod & Shasta daisy blooming in august
photo by SVSeekins

So much for the golden haze of summer.  It’s been below freezing here for almost a week.  That’s not a complaint, because we’re cozy inside, but I feel badly for the creatures living outdoors.

A couple of winters ago C & I started hanging a suet log.  The birds love it!

They also clean it out fairly quickly – –  which means one of us must refill it.  We’re pretty good at that, but not perfect.  😦

goldenrod gone to seed
photo by SVSeekins

This autumn I decided to make a change in garden maintenance that would help out the birds just a little more.  I chose to NOT cut back some of the perennials when their bloom finished. I reckon the seed heads might come in handy when the suet log is empty.

Goldenrod has really funky looking seed heads. This perennial is native to North America, so I figure the birds have learned to make use of it over the centuries just as the First Peoples did.

lychnis in bloom
photo by SVSeekins

And if the birds don’t eat these seeds, perhaps they’ll use the fluff to insulate their nests?

ernest fenceline in november
photo by SVSeekins`

Lychnis is another with great summer blooms & and an abundance of winter seed.  This patch along the fenceline is left standing in hopes it’ll be useful for the birds too.

Happily I’m not worried about those seed heads foretelling a full future for weeding.  We mulch the garden beds quite heavily, which (aside from keeping roots warm) has the added benefit of slowing down scattered seeds turning into unwanted plants.  

But hopefully the seeds will all be eaten before my pruning hand become so itchy that I just HAVE TO cut the plants back for tidiness sake. (I have good intentions, but I also know my nature.)

Even as we speak the crocosmia & the hardy fuchsia are dying back & will soon be luring me outside to tidy up.

© SVSeekins and Garden Variety Life, 2013

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