GARDENING FOR THE BIRDS

    Have you ever heard the song of the woodthrush? I heard for the first time in a birch where my family and I used to have a cottage.
  1. To this day, that song evokes blueberry fields, the scent of balsam fir, and cool summers evenings by a lake bordered by wild rosebushes in bloom. We no longer have the cottage, but as luck would have it, woodthrushes nest in the woods near my house in West Virginia and it is for them, as well as for the hummingbirds, nuthatches, woodpeckers and owls that I will continue to try to make a garden . This is a progress that has been in progress for twenty years. Although I was not a novice gardener when I started my garden, I made a number of mistakes, such as introducing non-native species to borders that owned more to English cottage gardens in their design than to the American wilderness it was always meant to be. I know no that Chinese wisteria, for example, is a fiercely invasive plant and I also know that there is a correlation between the abundance of non-native species in our gardens and the decline in bird population. The bit of land around my house became an official wildlife habitat last year and I am honour bound to provide food, shelter and water to the the denizens of the sliver of forest that remains in my street.
  2. For the song of the woodthrush, check out www.naturesound.com You will never forget it.

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