The Growers Choice: Hedging for birds

The Growers Choice: Hedging for birds

Encourage birds into your garden projects by planting bird-friendly species such as Ilex aquifolium and Crataegus monogyna. See our bird-friendly hedging favourites below.

1) Ilex aquifolium (Holly) is definitely a bird’s favourite. Its dense prickly leaves offer windproof shelter along with berries for a Christmas feast. Blackbirds and thrushes are usually the first to strip a holly bush of its berries.

Available as root balls in the winter and container plants in a multitude of sizes throughout the year.

🌸Flowers: June- July

Fruits: October - January

🌞 Position: Full sun - partial shade

📏 Height: Up to 20 metres

🌱 Soil: well-drained, moist, moderately fertile, humus-rich soil

2) Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn) berries are a favourite for Chaffinches, Starlings, Blackbirds and Greenfinches. The leaves are the food plant for caterpillars of many moth species, providing food for baby birds in spring.

🌸Flowers: May - June

Fruits: September - November

🌞 Position: Full sun - partial shade

📏 Height: Up to 6 metres

🌱 Soil: Any soil (apart from water-logged)

We have a great selection of bare root hedging available from 40-60cm tall to 175-200cm tall from November to March.

3) Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) is used by birds to nest among its dense thorny branches and feast on caterpillars and other insects on its leaves, and feast on the sloe berries in autumn.

🌸Flowers: March

Fruits: September - November

🌞 Position: Full sun - partial shade

📏 Height: Up to 4 metres

🌱 Soil: Any soil (apart from water-logged)

Available in container pots throughout the year or in bare-root form come November - March. 

4) Prunus padus (bird cherry) Provides a spring feast for pollinators. Its cherries are eaten by birds such as blackbirds and song thrushes and other mammals such as a dormouse.

🌸Flowers: March

Fruits: August

🌞 Position: Full sun - partial shade

📏 Height: Up to 5 metres

🌱 Soil: Will tolerate most soil types

You can purchase this variety from us throughout the year as a container-grown plant or as a bare root one from November - March. 

5) Cotoneaster varieties 

Cotoneaster branches are always full of small red berries from autumn onwards and provide great shelter for a nesting site. They are popular with thrushes, Blackbirds and Waxwings.

🌸Flowers: May

Fruits: Autumn

🌞 Position: Full sun - partial shade

📏 Height: Up to 6 metres

🌱 Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

Available in a number of pot sizes from 2L to 10L.

6) Alnus glutinosa (Alder) seeds are eaten by birds such as Siskin, redpoll and goldfinches, as well as its catkins providing an early source of nectar and pollen for bees.

🌸Flowers: February - April

🌞 Position: Full sun - partial shade

📏 Height: Up to 10 metres

🌱 Soil: Will tolerate most soil types

This hedging plant is available in container pots throughout the year and in various bare-root sizes from November-March. 

Other hedging varieties to consider to help encourage birds into your garden include Pyracantha, Acer campestre, Dog Rose and Malus sylvestris.

Posted 10th Aug 3:22pm

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