Every one of us can make a difference in the ongoing habitat and wildlife loss by planting native plants.
January - Your Yard in Winter
Your yard may look sad to you now, but to the birds and bees it’s important shelter and food. Those dead looking salvias and black-eyed Susans are full of seeds waiting to feed a hungry house finch, cardinal or other seed eating bird. Those leafless milkweed and other stems are homes for wintering bees who snuggle up inside the hollow stem.
Walk around your yard and see if you have anything blooming for a bee that wakes up on an unseasonably warm winter day needing some food. Asters, red salvia and even beach sunflower are still blooming in my yard since we haven’t had a frost yet. Also, confirm that you have berries available for the berry eating birds like robins and cedar waxwings. Cherry laurels, wax myrtles, yaupon and american hollies are full of berries now. Don’t forget the vines like coral honeysuckle and virginia creeper which besides providing some pretty color, also provide needed berries for the birds.
No matter how tempting, don’t cut back your dead blooms and stems until spring. The birds, the bees and even the plants themselves will thank you for that, because cutting back plants now risks damaging the plant.
Attached photos are taken by Lisa from her yard and show black eyed susans with seed pods, ageratum seeds, milkweed stems and yaupon holly berries.
By Lisa Williams