by High Country Gardens

Waxwing bird on a shrub
A cedar waxwing on Prunus.

A Guest Post From Audubon Rockies/Habitat Hero Program

Gardens are outdoor sanctuaries for birds, insects and other wildlife. Every spring, migrating birds visit our yards looking for nourishment from our gardens and places to raise their chicks. By adding native plants to one’s yard, balcony, container garden, rooftop or public space, anyone, anywhere can attract birds AND give them the nourishment they need for the long journey ahead.

Most landscaping plants available in nurseries are exotic species from other countries. Not only are they generally poor food sources for our local wildlife but they often require more chemicals and water, increasing maintenance time, costs and environmental hazards. Some can even become invasive.

And How About All This Weird Winter And Spring Weather?

“Birds and native plants are made for each other thanks to millions of years of evolution,” said Dr. John Rowden, director of community conservation for the National Audubon Society. “As plants grow and bloom earlier because of warming temperatures, there is a growing mismatch between bloom times and the arrival of birds that depend on them. Habitat provided by native plants can help climate-threatened birds adapt and survive.”

Help keep our common birds common by planting native plants.

Bird visits a berry tree
Ribes aureum, commonly known as black current, is beloved by both gardeners and birds alike for their large edible berries.

Audubon Rockies Has Created Fun Ways You Can Help Birds In WY, CO and Beyond

Birds, bees, and butterflies cannot survive in sterile communities. Audubon Rockies’ Habitat Hero Program works with partners and community members to make a difference by stitching our fractured landscape back together. Join us in creating gardens and backyards that provide homes and, food sources, for a wide range of wildlife.

Habitat Hero Pre-Planned Garden Illustration
Our Habitat Hero Pre-Planned Birdwatcher garden is part of a collaboration between High Country Gardens, Habitat Hero (a project of Audubon Rockies) and Plant Select®. A portion of the proceeds of the already-designed Birdwatcher garden will go to the Habitat Hero project.

How Can You Be Involved?

  1. Superstar Aster Collection

    Our Superstar Aster Collection is an easy solution for late summer to fall color. Native Asters are important late-season food sources for bees and butterflies, including Monarchs. F...

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    Superstar Aster Collection Superstar Aster Collection
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $47.95 Sale $43.15
    Per Collection of 5
    Our Superstar Aster Collection is an easy solution for late summer to fall color. Native Asters are important late-season food sources for bees and butterflies, including Monarchs. Featuring five varieties of Asters for an array of colors and varying heights, this collection will refresh the garden with late season flowers, just as summer’s blooms begin to fade. Collection of 5 plants. (Symphyotrichum)
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  2. Monch Frikart's Aster, Aster x frikartii 'Mönch'

    One of the first asters to bloom, Monch Frikart's Aster (Aster x frikartii Monch) flowers from mid-summer into fall, with lavender-purple petals surrounding golden-yellow centers. Th...

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    Monch Frikart's Aster Monch Frikart's Aster Aster x frikartii 'Mönch'
    $10.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    One of the first asters to bloom, Monch Frikart's Aster (Aster x frikartii Monch) flowers from mid-summer into fall, with lavender-purple petals surrounding golden-yellow centers. This easy to grow hybrid is mildew resistant. Once established, Asters are drought-tolerant, vigorous, long-lived perennials that provide an important source of and late-season food for pollinators.
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  3. Salvia sylvestris May Night, May Night Meadow Sage, Purple Salvia sylvestris May Night

    Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’ (May Night Sage) blooms prolifically with deep purple-blue flowers. It is an outstanding perennial with excellent cold hardiness, vigor, and toleran...

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    May Night Salvia May Night Meadow Sage Salvia sylvestris May Night
    As low as $9.49 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Salvia sylvestris ‘May Night’ (May Night Sage) blooms prolifically with deep purple-blue flowers. It is an outstanding perennial with excellent cold hardiness, vigor, and tolerance of heavy clay soils. Blooming in late spring with a profusion of flower spikes, it reblooms later in the summer when deadheaded.
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  4. Dream of Beauty Aromatic Aster, Aster Symphyotrichum oblongifolius 'Dream of Beauty'

    Dream of Beauty Fragrant Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolius) is big on blooms from mid-summer to fall, providing easy-care, long-lasting garden color. Shorter in stature than many A...

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    Dream of Beauty Aromatic Aster Dream of Beauty Aromatic Aster Aster (Symphyotrichum) oblongifolius 'Dream of Beauty'
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $10.99 Sale $8.79
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Dream of Beauty Fragrant Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolius) is big on blooms from mid-summer to fall, providing easy-care, long-lasting garden color. Shorter in stature than many Asters, it will brighten the garden with dense foliage and sweet pink flowers. A favorite of butterflies, this native cultivar is essential for late-season blooms in the pollinator garden.
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  5. Black Eyed Susan Goldsturm, Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm

    Rudbeckia Goldsturm blooms in mid-to-late summer with an eye-catching display of golden flowers. Black Eyed Susan is very attractive to butterflies and the seed heads provide winter ...

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    Goldsturm Black Eyed Susan Black Eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida Goldsturm
    As low as $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Rudbeckia Goldsturm blooms in mid-to-late summer with an eye-catching display of golden flowers. Black Eyed Susan is very attractive to butterflies and the seed heads provide winter food for seed-eating songbirds as well. Reliable and tough, Rudbeckia tolerates both drought and clay plus easy to maintain.
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  6. Pink and Orange and Silver Agastache rupestris, Agastache rupestris, Licorice Mint or Sunset Hyssop

    Agastache rupestris (Licorice Mint Hyssop) is one of the best, most durable species in the Agastache family. With smoky orange flowers held by lavender calyxes, the entire plant is s...

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    Agastache rupestris Licorice Hummingbird Mint (Sunset Hyssop) Agastache rupestris
    As low as $11.99 Sale $9.59
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Agastache rupestris (Licorice Mint Hyssop) is one of the best, most durable species in the Agastache family. With smoky orange flowers held by lavender calyxes, the entire plant is scented like licorice and mint. A 1996 High Country Gardens introduction. Drought resistant/drought tolerant perennial plant (xeric).
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  7. Blue and Purple Penstemon strictus, Penstemon strictus, Rocky Mountain Penstemon

    Rocky Mountain beardtongue, with its spikes of bright blue flowers and evergreen foliage, is one of the easiest-to-grow Penstemon. Long-lived, this beauty thrives in most any well-dr...

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    Rocky Mountain Penstemon Rocky Mountain Beardtongue Penstemon strictus
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Rocky Mountain beardtongue, with its spikes of bright blue flowers and evergreen foliage, is one of the easiest-to-grow Penstemon. Long-lived, this beauty thrives in most any well-drained soil with full sun exposure. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  8. Echinacea purpurea

    Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is a garden classic perennial plant and one of our most popular native wildflowers. Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) has a large center c...

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    Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea
    Sale Price I Save 20%
    $9.99 Sale $7.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) is a garden classic perennial plant and one of our most popular native wildflowers. Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) has a large center cone, surrounded by pink-purple petals and brighten the garden in mid-summer.
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