Waterbury, VT - Vermonters wait all winter for the chance to get outside and get growing. Your yard can be a haven for wildlife, as well as for you and your family, by keeping a simple idea in mind.
When choosing plants, pick those that serve more than one function in your landscape. You can plant shrubs or trees that flower in the spring, provide fruit or seeds for animals to eat in the summer, fall and through the winter, and brighten your yard in autumn. Serviceberry or shad is a perfect example. One of the first small trees to flower in the spring, the serviceberry's delicate white flowers fade as its leaves expand. Red fruits will appear in June. Cedar waxwings, orioles, robins and catbirds will gratefully feast on the berries throughout the summer. Serviceberry's smooth gray bark provides interest during our long winter.
Apple trees, and their ornamental cousin, crab apples, will decorate your yard with flowers in the spring. The flowers develop into apples, or crabapples, which will in turn feed many species of birds and mammals. Crabapple seeds are especially attractive to pine grosbeaks in wintertime. You can choose crabapples with small or large fruit in a variety of colors.
Viburnums are a group of easy-to-grow shrubs that will provide red, yellow, blue or black berries for birds to eat. Regardless of the berry color, the flowers are white and, depending on the species you plant, will bloom from spring through summer. Birds often build their nests in Viburnum's sheltering branches.
Shrubs of the dogwood or Cornus genus perform double duty as contributing members of your landscape and supporters of wildlife. Red twigged silky dogwood, and its cousin, red-osier dogwood, will produce plentiful blue-black berries for bluebirds, cardinals, grosbeaks, chipmunks and squirrels. Their red stems will provide you a needed glimpse of color during the winter months.
Whenever you select trees and shrubs to plant, think native. Native plants are perfectly suited to our growing conditions, and often have fewer insect or disease problems than introduced ornamentals. Invasive ornamentals, such as purple loosestrife, out grow many native plants. Many Vermont nurseries offer native plants grown locally to ensure hardiness.
The gardening and landscaping season is here. A careful choice of a tree or shrub can provide you with color year round. Flowers, fruit and fall foliage will add interest and accent to your yard. Pick plants that provide all three for you and wildlife.
For Further Information please contact: Denise Russo at 802-241-3716 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Provided by: Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, 802-241-3716.
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