Did you know that autumn is the best time of the year to plant out trees and shrubs? The plants establish a really strong root system through the cooler weather, and then ‘take off’ the following spring.
So…. What better time to plant some bird attracting shrubs in your garden. And top of the list for sheer drama are the taller growing hybridised Grevilleas. These may not be compatible to the manicured buxus-style gardens; however there is always a spot somewhere to grow one of these beauties.
I have 3 Grevillea ‘Moonlights’ in my garden – they are 2.5 metres high and wide and never get watered. They have numerous ‘flushes’ of huge buttery-yellow flowers on and off all year. The lorikeets, crimson rosellas and king parrots love them as they are crammed full of nectar. Several other tall growing Grevilleas are just as good: – ‘Sylvia’ and ‘Misty Pink’ are both stunning pink shades, whilst ‘Honey Gem’ is orangey-yellow.
Obviously when planting and caring for any trees and shrubs, you cannot ignore them whilst young – do the right things with correct compost, water crystals and wetting agents, and of course a good mulch. But once they are mature, they will require very little water.
As the taller growing Grevilleas mature, you can under plant with lower growing shrubs that are bird attracting. So many of the Correa family flower for months and the tubular flowers are brim full of sweetness for birds. These are tough and come in a variety of colours ranging from a fiery orange red through to the palest of pinks and creamy white. Correa ‘Chefs Hat’ grows to about one metre and has interesting lime green flowers with a pleasant fragrance when crushed. This plant tolerates dryish semi-shade – a great bonus!
When establishing shrubs in the garden to attract native birds, it is essential to place a bird bath nearby. If you have a source of water in the garden, you will attract birds. Position the bird bath such that the birds can easily ‘escape’ into the safety of the shrubs should danger arise. i.e. don’t place it in the middle of the lawn. Keep the water fresh.
Watching lorikeets ‘swimming’ causes many moments of pleasure.
An excellent low growing shrub that would perfectly blend with those mentioned above is Banksia ‘Birthday Candles.’ This is a real ‘toughie’ and only grows to about half a metre high and wide. During summer numerous orange ‘candles’ develop to open in late summer into autumn. Birds love these. The plants are very decorative and incredibly easy to grow.
Combinations of these plants will ensure that your garden will be a favourite stopping place for a feed and drink by our feathered friends! Enjoy their company.