Written by an area Landscape Architect and birdwatcher with over 30 years of experience with landscaping in north Texas: what works and what doesn't. Emphasis on attracting birds to north Texas yards, and reducing required yard maintenance. Tips, trivia and proven advice for a natural, low-cost approach for this unique and sensitive part of the country.
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Saturday, November 2, 2013
Have lots of baby birds around your house next spring
supplemental feeding (birdfeeders)
during the winter leads to greater nesting success (more baby birds) the
following spring. Just make sure you use FRESH seed, not the junk sold in big box stores and such.
It's also helpful to have evergreen plants around (for shelter)and filled birdbaths (so birds can keep clean - necessary to staying warm) in bad weather.
Why there is no such thing as a “weed”.We think we know what a “weed” is but do we really?
To most of us, it’s a plant that’s growing in a location we don’t want it to
grow. By that definition, the term persists. (I offer the example that a crape
myrtle growing in your driveway is a “weed”.) That’s an arbitrary, imprecise definition,
but it’ll do for now.
There are precise, horticultural definitions of “tree”,
“shrub”, “flower”, “grass” and so on. But there’s no defition for “weed” because
it usually depends on one’s feelings and individual tastes – highly variable
A plant’s “uselessness” also depends on who’s doing
the talking and defining. Blackberries for example. The berries taste good and
provide food for a great number of birds (Robins, Brown Thrashers, Bluebirds,
to name just a few), and many species nest in blackberry brambles (Cardinals, Field
Sparrows, Yellowthroats are some). But the thorns can tear up clothing, and
cause humans pain. Are they weeds?
An extreme example is poison ivy. Lots of birds
like its waxy white berries. Birds, not being allergic to it, flit among the
leaves and branches unconcerned. So it may be a “weed” growing near your house, but not
when growing in the “back 40”
OWEN YOST, in
addition to being a blogger, is a licensed Landscape Architect emeritus who has
lived and worked in north Texas for over 30 years. He is the recipient of a
Lifetime Achievement Award of the Native Plant Society of Texas, and is a
member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International
Federation of Landscape Architects, National Wildlife Federation and the
Audubon Society. His office is at Yost87@charter.netin