More and more often birds and insects have difficulty finding food. Every owner of a garden can help with insect and bird protection. A flowering natural hedge provides not only food, but also numerous nesting opportunities. We explain how to plant a wildlife hedge, which shrubs and trees to consider.
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Wild Hedge Planting: Which trees and shrubs are suitable?
Which native shrubs are suitable for a bird nourishing hedge? A wildlife hedge consists of woody plants that provide nesting opportunities and food. If possible, plants with different maturities are combined. Ideally, the perennials, shrubs and trees should be planted as close together as possible. Therefore, you can follow the minimum requirements in terms of plant spacing depending on the species and variety.
Create wild shrub hedge: Native shrubs for birds
- Cornelian cherry is perfect as a border shrub (zone 3 of the wild hedge). Its flowers, which appear as early as spring, are considered an important food source for bees. The berries that the shrub bears in summer are edible for birds.
- Red dogwood has a spreading growth and is also perfect for the border zone of the natural hedge. The berries appear in August and September and are readily eaten by robins and mistle thrushes.
- Wild blackberry is a bushy shrub that grows up to 3 feet tall and wide. The bird feeder blooms from June to August and bears fruit from September through November. Interesting for blackbirds, thrushes, chaffinches, pheasants, pukes, warblers. Other small garden animals also like to hide in the brambles from predators.
- The common spindle bush is perfect for the bird protection hedge. Its fruits ripen in October and are an important food source in late fall.
Planting plan for a narrow bird hedge from native shrubs.
We offer a planting plan for a bird hedge consisting of flowering and berry-bearing native shrubs. The plants require a sunny to partial shade location. Plant the large shrubs (hawthorn, snowball) 1.5 feet apart. You can plant the other shrubs in the ground at a distance of 70.
Two-row planting: the hawthorn and the common snowball to the back and the serrated snowball and the common holly to the front. For this arrangement you need a place with dimensions 8 x 3 meters.
Single row planting: zone 1 consists of the hawthorn, zone 2 – common snowball, in zone 3 plant the serrated snowball and common holly. For this arrangement, you will need a space measuring 11 x 3 meters.
Wild Hedge Planting: Four bird-nourishing shrubs for the small garden.
1. Encroaching hawthorn (1 plant) is a tall shrub/low tree with a compact habit that grows up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The hawthorn is also hardy, able to tolerate wind, snow and rain with ease. The bird- and insect-nourishing shrub is also ideally suited as a screen and can easily tolerate topiary. The deep-rooted tree thrives best in a sunny to semi-shady spot in the garden.
The common snowball (3 – 4 plants) is also a hardy shrub that is characterized by its upright and dense growth. This flat-rooted shrub reaches a maximum growth height of 4 meters and gains up to 40 cm in height annually. Its flowers attract insects to the garden, and its berries, which it forms in autumn, are an important source of food for garden birds in the cold season. The plant is undemanding, but needs a little more space in the garden.
3. serrated snowball (3 plants) is a low-maintenance semi-shrub, which has a compact growth habit. Its flowers produce pollen and nectar and are often visited by pollinating insects such as bees and bumblebees. The berries are poisonous to humans and pets , but are an important food source for native birds in late fall and winter.
4. common holly (3 plants) is a frost-hardy deciduous plant, perfect for the edge of the natural hedge. The bird-protecting shrub provides nesting opportunities for birds during the breeding season. Heartwort grows slowly and reaches a maximum growth height of 6 feet. The evergreen plant provides visual and wind protection throughout the year. Its berries are poisonous to humans and animals, but edible to birds.
A wild hedge provides food and nesting opportunities for birds, butterflies and bees. Not only the choice of plants is very important for the final result. You should also keep a few things in mind when caring for them. Fertilize the plants with organic fertilizer only when necessary. In any case, do not treat the plants with pesticides and other chemicals. In the winter time you can hang a feeder for the local birds, so that they can find food even in the cold season.