The Q&A Archives: Perenials In Shade Garden

Question: What perennials can be used in a wooded back yard to attract bird year round?

Answer: Birds should be attracted to your area for the simple fact that it is wooded and offers them a great site to nest in. Woodland birds are generally attracted to plant life with berries or seeds, and that provide good nesting sites and safe cover. Perennials that will grow in forest understory that can provide these qualities are numerous, but I'm not sure how many are available commercially. Certainly elderberry, nannyberry, some dogwoods and barberry will grow in dappled shade, and all provide fruit and potential nesting sites. Perhaps you could encourage birds by setting up natural-looking bird feeders and a water feature for them. Birds are very attracted to moving water such as that in a fountain. Also, if there are dead trees among those in your backyard, leave them in place if they don't endanger your home, as they they provide homes for birds and other creatures. The local chapter of the Audubon Society is a great resouce, too, as they can provide information specific to the birds in your area. Hope this helps!

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