After seeing all of the suggestions for utilizing Christmas trees after the holidays, our family set the tree in our backyard and crafted a variety of treats for birds to hang as ornaments. In addition to helping provide the birds with some extra protein and nourishment in the wintertime, the tree offers a small amount of additional shelter, and extra material for building nests.
For the ornaments, we made:
– Pine cones covered in peanut butter and dipped in birdseed
– Strings of apple and orange slices
– A hanging apple bowl with birdseed and fruit chunks
– Suet chunks covered in extra birdseed (YUM)
– Hanging Spanish moss as tinsel (for extra nesting material)
We were given this small bee house to try to encourage bees to stay and thrive in our area. Along with a garden planted to attract pollinators, we hope to see more bees in the future, since there have not been many for the past few years.
The house has been posted along a safe part of our fence to lessen the possibility of harm from wind and other factors.
The visitor center provides information about creating pollinator and native plant gardens for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.
- Growing native plants in your garden
- Planting a diversity of flowering species
- Not using pesticides or herbicides
- Providing sunny, bare soil areas for ground-nesting bees.
Pollinators are a vital part of maintaining our ecosystems. Many crops, plant species, and nearly every flowering plant on earth require help with pollination. ‘Somewhere between 75% and 95% of all flowering plants on the earth need help with pollination – they need pollinators.
Pollinators provide pollination services to over 180,000 different plant species and more than 1200 crops. In addition to the food that we eat, pollinators support healthy ecosystems that clean the air, stabilize soils, protect from severe weather, and support other wildlife (Pollinator Partnership).’
We have been looking into methods for helping birds and other pollinators thrive in our area, and have implemented some of the tips in our own backyard. Here, we collected an assortment of nearby plant materials, including fallen pine needles, leaves, twigs, and dried plant seeds, to offer as readily available nesting materials for our birds.
We made sure to cut each of the pieces into smaller, more manageable sizes, and placed them in holders at the end of the yard. With the first, we used a basket from a local thrift store, and placed it in a slightly protected area between some low plants. With the second, we filled an old suet feeder, giving a more raised option to obtain materials amongst some of the other plants.
Since we live in an area with a warmer climate, we do hope this will offer some help to our birds through the winter, especially since materials become slightly more scarce as trees lose their foliage.
Our family was given this bee and pollinator plant seed kit as a fun project and to add to our other pollinator-attracting plants in our backyard. Though we know it is important to research and utilize native plants for your garden, this was a nice activity for everyone, and we were excited to try it out.
The kit steps you through creating a mixture of clay and potting soil, adding the plant seeds, and making the cookies ready to go into the ground. We loved it, and hope our pollinators will be able to enjoy them too.