Bird-pleasing plants: Lushingtons

At this time of year the birds have a little more chirp in their voices and if you’d like to make the most of this free entertainment, plant some bird-friendly plants and they’ll come flocking.

The song of the bellbird and tui is something special and even though they’re native birds, you don’t necessarily need native plants to attract them to your garden, year-round.

“There’s a reason prunus campanulata (cherry blossom) is known as the tui tree, they go mad for its nectar,” says Miranda Sinton of Lushingtons. “A lot of introduced plants can provide the best nectar. Grevilleas and bottlebrush attract birds, and bring vibrant colour to the winter garden.”

She also recommends apple and crabapple trees to keep birds fed in autumn and winter.

If you do want to go native, Miranda’s top plant choices would be kowhai, which provides spring feed and the New Zealand flaxes, phormium tenax (harakeke), and phormium cookianum (wharariki).

“If you don’t have room for more plants, a bird bath and a bird feeder will help our feathered friends.”

Talk to Miranda about the birds and the plants (and possibly the bees) at Lushingtons Garden, Gifts and Cafe. 5 Archibald St Tinwald, phone 03 308 6858.

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