If you are lucky enough to have a garden in these difficult times, now more than ever you will want to get out there and enjoy it. And the question we frequently get asked right now is what can I do in my garden this week? The answer is: lots, of course! The sun is shining (well, some of the time) and the first blossoms are popping up everywhere, their vibrant colours and sweet scent letting us know that spring is well under way. The daffodils are peeking out from the grass, the bare branches are budding in anticipation of cherry blossom, and the magnolias are stealing the show with their gorgeous blooms. The sight of nature in its prettiest season is enough to brighten the mood!
While it is still a bit nippy outside, going out and getting busy with your plants will warm you up in no time. These days gardening provides much-needed physical activity in the outdoors. It is also well known to be beneficial for our mental health. Spending time in your garden is bound to lift your spirits and occupy your mind with lighter matters. So, to answer the question what can I do in my garden this week? The answer – with the aim of getting people out there moving about – is, let’s start with a relatively simple but highly rewarding task – feed the birds! Make them feel welcome! If there is food for them and they don’t feel threatened, you will have wildlife for company in your little green kingdom.
Feeding the Birds: Tips
First and foremost, you should make sure that the birds are safe from predators while they feed. Cats, dogs and even larger birds pose a danger to little birds that will come to snack in your garden. The way to keep them safe is to keep your pets indoors and position the feeder in places where the birds themselves can easily keep an eye on predators. Ideally, this would mean 2 to 3 meters away from large, dense shrubs. Similarly, you have to be careful about how far or close the feeder is from windows. For a small bird, like the majority of species that visit our gardens, a collision with a window could prove to be fatal. For that reason it is recommended to place the bird feeder either less than a metre from the window (in which case the impact wouldn’t be as hard) or circa 3 metres away (so there would be plenty of room for maneuvering and avoiding collision).
Next, you need to make sure that the feed you are offering your feathery visitors suits their tastes. Different types of food will attract different species of birds. You can make sure that the birds that frequent your garden always have something nutritious to eat. Small species such as sparrows, finches, dunnocks or reed buntings will feast on tiny seeds such as millet, while slightly larger birds like blackbirds, blue tits, and greenfinches can eat sunflower seeds and peanuts. You can always offer appropriate seed mixes (just be mindful of the size of the seeds) to attract a variety of wildlife in your garden. Other good choices include black sunflower seeds, nyjer seeds, and pinhead oatmeal. Unlike in the colder months of the year, in the spring bird food should be high in protein content and not fat, so make sure to have that in mind when getting store-bought mixes.
After they are done munching on the seeds you generously laid out to them, your new garden companions will want to hydrate and take a bath. Water in the birdbath should always be kept clean and fresh to make sure everything is healthy and inviting for the birds that come and visit.
Wildlife-friendly spring gardening
And if you are looking to introduce some new plants to your garden, now is a great time to plant wildlife-friendly shrubs. These plant varieties will attract beneficial pollinators to your garden, offer sustenance for the wildlife, and add interest to the landscape as well. Use this time to set the foundation for next year and create a colourful oasis with ornamental trees that will reward you with masses of blossoms as the winter ends. Our selection of spring Flowering trees for UK gardens includes the most popular varieties and choices for small and big gardens alike.
Alternatively, if you are unsure what plants you want to add to your garden, check out our blog for garden inspiration and ideas. Whether it is seeking inspiration in the most beautiful garden designs of the world or learning more about specific plants that could thrive in your own backyard, we’ve got you covered- and not just with practical tips and inspirational insights.
During this difficult & challenging time, Paramount Plants & Gardens continues to sell plants online. We practice strict social distancing and contactless UK-wide delivery. Read our full Corona Virus Policy here. Stay safe and keep on gardening! And feed the birds!