Did you know that the types of plants and flowers that are planted in your garden can have an effect on the wildlife that you find coming and going? Well, they can! By choosing the right plants, you can provide both food and shelter for certain wildlife, especially birds. So, if you’d like your garden to be a nature hotspot, try adding these plants to attract different species of birds.
The best plants to attract birds
The best plant for attracting wild bird is common wild ivy as it is the most wildlife-friendly plant, however, it does need to be managed. Common ivy provides UK birds with dense cover for nesting sites, nectar and winter berries, perfect for the colder winter months. Ivy also attracts insects, which are perfect for attracting birds as these act as food. Plant ivy on a shady wall or on an old tree and let mother nature take over. Its stems cling tightly to the tree bark so once it begins to grow, there is no need to train it or tie it down. Ivy usually grows up to four metres and is the perfect place for tree sparrows.
Sunflowers are not only loved by young children and teachers but birds too! The plentiful seeds that are closely packed at the centre of beautifully bright coloured petals provide and oil-rich nourishment through the autumn months for nuthatches, finches, long-tailed tits and other seed-eating birds. As sunflowers come in all sizes and a variety of colour, they make the ideal plant for attracting birds in any sized garden. Choose sunflowers that have the largest flower heads, as these will produce and contain the most seed. Leave the plants to stand in the autumn or cut off the heads and tie them to a fence and watch the birds come flocking.
Teasel is a tall architectural plant that you can find in the wildlife gardening area of the plant centre or on the seed shelves. This plant form unmissable seedheads in the early autumn which can often last right up to December, depending on weather conditions. Teasel first attracts butterflies, but later it’s the seed heads that start to attract birds, namely finches, sparrows and buntings. Once you plant teasels, new plants will grow from the seeds that the birds miss, so you won’t have to worry about planting anymore yourself.
Rambling Rose (Rosa multiflora)
A rambling rose is ideal for those that have space to spare in their gardens. They provide masses of beautiful summer colours of cream, white and pink, perfect for that picturesque aesthetic. The flowers themselves are small, but they do grow in big clusters, which is why space is essential when this plant is around. The beautiful flowers are followed huge amounts of rose hips which are loved by so many birds during the winter. Rambling rose also provides excellent places for birds to nest and protect themselves from cats, birds of prey and most other things that mother nature tends to throw their way. Be cautious, however, as this plant can grow up to seven metres long.
Firethorn is loved by birds, especially thrushes and blackbirds. Its thorny evergreen shrubs with creamy white flowers and autumn berries provide the perfect shelter, protection and nourishment. And there’s something about the way its branches grow that attracts birds to make their nests. So, not only is firethorn a great choice for gardens looking to fill in an empty space but it also great for nesting birds!
And there you have it, the best plants to attract birds in the UK! If you’re hoping to bring some more wildlife to your garden in the form of our flying little friends, be sure to plant any of these and watch the birds start to flock.