Viewing 15 reply threads
    • Bird Academy
      Bird Academy
      Bird_Academy
      Share a little bit about your plans for building up your naturescape. What kinds of questions do you have? What resources are available to you to help you answer those questions?
      You must be enrolled in the course to reply to this topic.
    • Jenifer
      Participant
      Chirps: 18
      jsmolnik
      I would like to create a new hedgerow in my backyard. I purchased a couple of elderberry plants first because I know they grow tall and would be great as a backdrop for the hedgerow. I have five very large invasive fire bushes that were planted by previous owners and have gotten really big. I started by cutting down most of one bush and was stopped by my neighbors behind me because they claim that the bushes are on their property. They said they are having a survey of their property done, but considering the price tag on having a survey, I think they will not have it completed. They just want me to go away. Other than getting my own survey (I am confident these invasives are within my property line) any other suggestions on how to proceed? Also, the neighbors said I could not plant elderberries because they attract bears. Any other suggestions for another large bush? I am sort of at a loss on how to proceed.
    • Leonard
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      SDommin
      Our plan is to expand our native plant areas to other parts of our yard. It's an easy decision to first make changes where grass or non-natives don't thrive or require high maintenance and watering. Probably the next area we will tackle is a corner of the yard that gets full sun and where the grass turns brown mid-summer. This course has offered invaluable online references for choosing the right plant for the right area. We are also fortunate to have an area untouched by development (amazing!) on Long Island called Hempstead Plains where visitors can see native flora that once covered much of Long Island. Native gardening is such an enjoyable and doable way to help reverse some of the human impact on the environment.          
    • Noreen
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Nerine
      looking for pagoda dogwood
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      kathleentitus
      I appreciated the lists of Bird Academy's favorite plants for each of our ecoregions. I live in southeastern Michigan, so my ecoregion is #8 Eastern Temperate Forests. Trumpet Honeysuckle vine is one of the recommendations. I have a fence that is on the outskirts of my Hummingbird Courtyard area, so I'd be able to see hummingbirds at a vine on the fence, if I was sitting in the patio. I'm also very interested in the Highbush Blueberry shrub and Chokecherry shrub/tree recommendations. Will have to check into native plant nurseries in the area to see if they are locally available.
    • alex
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      jade40
      The bird support islands around my apt are in 2 small trees with plenty of perches and cover, but without easy climbing for the 5 (five!) cats the local feline hoarder lets run the neighborhood. Three are semi feral and of no use to anyone, actually none of them are of any...Anyway, not to be undone by a cat, the feeders are strategically placed in the upper branches which are too dense for easy climbing access for the worthless cats and the birds have leaf cover and branches for taking turns or respite. A second sparrow  nest in the house side vent and the parent birds enjoy the seeds. They are, like most bird parents, being worked hard sporting insects for four demanding fledglings.  I also have a bird feeder on the ledge of each south window one with black sunflower seeds, the other with a songbird mix and cracked grains. These are also safe with no cat access. And ever helpful, the jays alert when food it out. So helpful ! While I would love to plan a birdspace of more permanent nature, it's not in the plans right now. I am glad for the lilac trees as they provide the cover to, meanwhile, support as I can.
      • Jenifer
        Participant
        Chirps: 18
        jsmolnik
        Hi! Sounds challenging like my neighborhood. Are you worried about the fledglings? Some free roaming cats in my neighborhood have killed several fledglings. I asked the folks who had the cat to keep it indoors or in a catico but no luck there. So, I took my complaints to the town Board of Selectman, writing something that was presented on zoom, but they have done nothing. I also contacted animal control, but the control officer told me they should be doing the responsible thing, and keeping their cats inside, but he said I could do nothing except put up a large fence. Well, the cat still gets through the fencing that I have! So, I do not keep bird houses etc up for fear of more birds being taken. I am at a loss on how to proceed. I am putting in native plants for the pollinators and birds but I am very fearful for the birds. I wish the rights of birds were respected.
    • Kathy
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      kossmann
      This course has given me some helpful ideas and also confirmed some of the steps I've already taken. We live on 7.5 acres in southwest Michigan most of which is wooded. The house is surrounded by a about an acre of lawn and formal gardens. We are working in a two-pronged effort to remove invasives and migrate lawn areas to native plants. There is a teardrop shaped area of lawn in the middle of a driveway turn-around with a couple of trees and bushes in it that we selected as our first native plant area. Beginning 2 years ago, we stopped mowing it and are planting natives a little at a time. There is an organization in our area that has a native plant sale every spring so we've purchased some each year and worked hard with Liquid Fence applications to keep the deer and rabbits from eating them! Most have survived and the ones planted last year are now blooming. We're also experimenting with various ways to kill off the grass. Meanwhile I've been on a campaign to pull garlic mustard and oriental bittersweet when I go for my daily walk through the woods. My husband cuts down the larger bittersweet vines that had already wrapped their way around tree trunks. We also have multiflora rose to not in as great a quantity. We're in our 70's and only have so much energy to devote to this each day! I'm starting to wonder where we could hire a part-time gardener/forester.
      • Candlin
        Participant
        Chirps: 2
        Candlin
        It can be helpful to have someone else come in and do some work on your gardens!  I’ll bet there are local folks who hire out as gardeners.  Ask your friends or look in local stores on notice boards.  I’ve had someone help with projects and especially in the spring.  It’s made a big difference.
    • Catherine
      Participant
      Chirps: 17
      cvanderplaats
      I am an avid gardener, in the Montreal region (now classified as zone 6), and I do try and use many native plants. I was given a birdfeeder for my birthday this spring and very much enjoy watching the birds come around. I've been surprise to see mainly cardinals! There are also white-capped chickadees and chipping sparrows (I am trying to distinguish between the different kind of sparrows!). I've also found that with the birdfeeder there are more birds all around--often waiting their turn :). And I have a monarda plant under my office window, where I've seen hummingbirds quite often--very wonderful! I wish I could do without a lawn (a serious pet peeve of mine), but our newly bought house has rather a large garden, which I now have to tend by myself. I did take a quarter of the front yard and made it into a flower bed, where I now often see birds grubbing around the still new soil :)
      • alex
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        jade40
        Hello, Your home sounds wonderful.  I'm just making a reply  to suggest  considering a Food Forest( Permaculture style) which would make the garden your personal vegetable and fruit garden. There are Permaculture Designers who can help you plan a sequential and organic (no pun intended) evolving of a 3-5 year plan using perennials that require minimal seasonal attention aside from gleaning berries and deadheading, the occasional fertilizing. et. al. Lawns are amusing aren't t they? Other than a swatch of it for entertaining or a backyard nap,  hey don't have much function except to use up lots of  water and cause Americans to spend millions per year on lawn Stuff, most of it which kills wild bees, bumblebees, and honey bees, let alone the unsuspecting butterfly.  Anyway, congrats on your new home - with birds.   :>
    • Kath
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      KathRond
      I have a lot of Virginia creeper that loves climbing up my house. I'm going to dig up the garlic mustard that is along my driveway and put the Va creeper in its place - it's shady with lots of trees so the vines should do fine there. Lots of chipmunks and a turtle are under there so it may be a good spot for more native undergrowth
    • richard
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      topdock
      My backyard has several established large hardwood trees such as a post oak and a southern red oak.  In addition, my  property backs up onto a woodland that is populated with hickory, tulip poplar and oak.  These support many insects.  In addition, there are several hedges around my yard that support protection and for nesting. I maintain a perennial bed with coneflowers, milkweed and rudbeckia that birds and insects love. I keep two blue bird boxes which are both populated.  I have several woodpiles for protection.  I also have peanut feeders for woodpeckers and nuthatches.  I have a small, elevated water dish that the rain usually keeps filled. Native plants are available close by at the Botanical Gardens spring and fall sales.
    • Susan
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      svalett
      I'd like to plant nectar sources for hummingbirds that we have in the summer and I'd like to provide more shelter and food sources for the birds that stay overwinter. I've been able to look up what trees, bushes, vines, or flowers I'll need, but finding the plants can be difficult. Most of the local nurseries even if they say they have native plants, end up having fancy cultivars. I've found my state's forest and wildlife department has a state tree nursery that offers many native barefoot seedlings for order in the fall. There is a local non-profit that grows native plants for sale. A native botanical garden offers native plant sales as fundraisers. A wetland restoration business offers some of the plants they use in restoration for retail sale to the public. I'm glad I've been able to find these round about ways to get native plants, but I don't understand why nurseries don't offer native plants. I feel like they are losing out. But it turns out, I can buy plants cheaper from the sources I had to uncover.
    • Jim
      Participant
      Chirps: 19
      Jim Fuehrmeyer
      Two sources have been great for me.  The Indiana Native Plant Society via a Facebook group and some folks in the Elkhart/South Bend Audubon Society - my local chapter.
    • Christopher
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      goldeagle Kroll
      The problem in my area for natural escaping is not education / information. It's finding places to buy plants and items. And finding the items at a reasonable price.
      • Nancy
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        46er2355
        I have the same problem.  I have to  travel about an hour and a half to get to a native plant nursery.
      • Jim
        Participant
        Chirps: 19
        Jim Fuehrmeyer
        I obviously don't know where you live, but a good source for those of us in the Midwest is Prairie Nursery, an on-line supplier based in Wisconsin.  I've gotten two orders now for plants native to northern Indiana - Ninebark, a variety of Asters and some others - and the plants are excellent. The sixteen I put in last fall have all come up this spring and are thriving. They also have some garden layout ideas - I used a layout for partial shade. I did not just Google search for this outfit - I joined the Indiana Native Plant Society group on Facebook and learned about them there.  I have a small patch but this outfit also supplies folks who are "going native" and converting acres of land into native preserves.
      • alex
        Participant
        Chirps: 4
        jade40
        Hello. I get it ! I have found great joy and wonderment from starting my plants indoors from seed. No magic is stronger than the tiniest seed taking root.  There are lots of youtube videos on starting seeds indoors on a warming pad ( to keep the soil warm) and with grow lights.It can be done with minimal expense with some  shrewd  shopping and repurposing and recycling. I do suggest getting the very best organic soil possible for the seedlings - only organic. "Natural" can be laced with ecocides as some chems retain in plant tissue for who knows how long.   USDA organic is a little slippery. So go for the organic label from a couple of private certifiers. Grow Organic sells good viable seed. Bulk seed is cheaper also. 1/4 oz  - 4 oz  is usually a better buy if you are going to use one plant as a staple variety. A lot of my perennials are in containers too, and I fertilize and companion plant to keep that soil strong. Containers can be over wintered inside too. Hope this helps.
    • LAURA
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      cleozbirdz
      I only recently started moving plants around our yard--it never occurred to me before that I should be able to dig up and move plants if needed! I have had no problems with transplant losses so far. I am excited about the idea of having some climbing/flowering vines--maybe I need to incorporate an arbor into my plans. I also want to incorporate some native ground cover into existing landscaping. I like the densely planted look, plus it will help decrease weeds.
    • Janet
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      chops99
      Starting small is great advice.  I have been getting overwhelmed trying to plan my yard garden.  I want to do everything at one time, but need to learn patience to see what works.  My biggest challenge will be the area behind my house which is overgrown with english ivy.  Figuring out how to get rid of it and planting native on the bank while controlling erosion in the process is daunting.  Hoping a local nursery can help with some ideas.
    • Martin
      Participant
      Chirps: 5
      mjroncetti
      I have been slowly building up my yard since my wife and I purchased our home in 2014.  My front beds will be "next" for further development as there are some bare spots to fill and a couple vines (Virginia Creeper and a grape species) to move to a more suitable location in the back yard along a fence line.  My search will concentrate on finding native perennials that are partially shade or shade tolerant and how to keep the neighbourhood rabbits away or at least at bay.  It could be a mix of a garlic/olive oil/water spray and sprinkling cayenne pepper throughout the bed.
      • LAURA
        Participant
        Chirps: 5
        cleozbirdz
        I have found both Liquid Fence and Rabbit Scram to be pretty effective for rabbits.
Viewing 15 reply threads