Thursday, January 28, 2016

Create a Bird-Friendly Garden

By Sarah Leach Smith, Visitor Services Coordinator
Photos by Charles Twine

Joyful gardens are often more than just plants – insects, birds and other wildlife add color, energy, life and song. If you’re interested in learning more about how to attract birds to your garden, consider joining us for “I Need a Plan: Bird-Friendly Gardening." 

Lauri Lawson, a horticulturist with Niche Gardens in Chapel Hill, will teach this 2-session class, which will meet Feb. 2 and 9 from 6:30-9 p.m. Niche Gardens has been a pioneer for native plants and ideal plants for Southern gardens since 1986. Niche has a devoted local and regional following, as well as a thriving nationwide mail-order business.

Lawson has extensive experience teaching gardeners how best to grow a sustainable, low-maintenance landscape, and how to garden for birds, butterflies, pollinators and other beneficial wildlife.

“We all know about bird feeders and birdbaths, but there are many wonderful plants that are both beautiful to our eyes and attractive to a wide variety of birds,” Lawson says. “These plants can create habitat for adults and be a prime spot to raise their nestlings.”

The class will cover the basic needs of common backyard bird species and a roster of easy-to-grow plants to make them happy year round, she says. “I'm especially excited about giving bird-lovers in the class good personal attention to their specific questions and give them the knowledge needed to make their gardens an oasis for our feathered friends."
This class will happen around the same time as an excellent national event called the Great Backyard Bird Count, which encourages people to count birds in their back yards and submit the data online. The collected data will help scientists find out more about bird migration and how it is impacted by environmental changes.

We hope you will join us for “I Need a Plan: Bird-Friendly Gardening” (email or call 919-668-1707 to register), and perhaps participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count as well!

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