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Bird and Butterfly Garden

I have a very large evergreen tree in my backyard and I would like to have a bird and butterfly garden in that corner. What will grow under and around this tree that will attract birds and butterflies?

Your evergreen provides wonderful shelter for the birds. They also add a bit of challenge by casting shade and competing with neighboring plantings for water.

Add a few deciduous shrubs near the evergreens to help transition to some perennials if space allows. You may find expanding the garden away from the evergreen and into the sunlight allows you to grow a wider variety of plants.

A few of your shade tolerant native shrubs to consider include elderberry, Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier), red twig dogwood, and wafer-ash (Ptelea).

Hostas are a favorite shade plant and the flowers provide nectar for hummingbirds and the seeds are enjoyed by juncos. Astilbe, coral bells, columbine and daylilies will also help bring birds and butterflies to the garden.

And consider adding a few shade tolerant annuals like begonia, fuchsia and impatiens.

As you move to sunny areas you have many more choices including bee balm, black-eyed Susan, coneflower, and phlox to name just a few.


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