Saturday, October 2, 2010

winter flowers

It is well known that you can create a heaven for birds by planting native wildflowers such as purple and yellow coneflowers, bee balm, larkspur, black-eyed susan, and maximilian sunflowers.

What you may not know is that you could keep these flowers and others through the winter to continue to attract birds. Flowers such as cosmos, snapdragon, zinnia, cockscomb, aster and larkspur can be left to let dry where they stand after their bloom is finished.

Here are more details:

These delicate flowers produce seed heads that attract finches, cardinals, sparrows and others. Simply allow daisies to go to seed at the end of the season and watch the birds flock to your garden as the weather becomes colder.

Do not deadhead the plants at the end of the season. Simply allow them to go to seed naturally and enjoy the flocks of birds that gather to harvest the seeds.

Purple Coneflower
This quick-growing plant returns each year with bigger and brighter blooms. It produces a sturdy seed head that supports the weight of large birds, which stop to reap the harvest.

Black-eyed Susans
These produce thick seed heads and when left to go to seed provide seeds for wild birds.

These flowers brighten the landscape during the summer and produce seeds that attract a variety of birds in fall and winter.

Information from:
- Birds and Blooms
- Birdwatchers Digest

Image from Flickr: Kim Naumann

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