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. Echinacea purpurea Magnus

    Magnus is a distinctive, vigorous and large growing cone flower cultivar. The bright reddish-pink petals of its huge flowers are held flat as they radiate out from the cone, instead ...

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    Magnus Echinacea Magnus Purple Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Magnus
    Sale Price I Save 15%
    $10.49 Sale $8.92
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Magnus is a distinctive, vigorous and large growing cone flower cultivar. The bright reddish-pink petals of its huge flowers are held flat as they radiate out from the cone, instead of curving backwards as is typical of most coneflowers.
  2. Yellow Helianthus maximiliana Santa Fe, Helianthus maximiliana Santa Fe, Maximilian's Sunflower

    Exclusive. Santa Fe is a selected form of Maximilian's Sunflower chosen for its huge, bright yellow daisies that tightly pack the 6 foot tall flowering spike. A tough perennial for d...

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    Santa Fe Maximilian's Sunflower (Helianthus) Santa Fe Maximilian's Sunflower Helianthus maximiliana Santa Fe
    Sale Price I Save 15%
    $11.99 Sale $10.19
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Exclusive. Santa Fe is a selected form of Maximilian's Sunflower chosen for its huge, bright yellow daisies that tightly pack the 6 foot tall flowering spike. A tough perennial for difficult growing conditions, it blooms in mid-September. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric). A High Country Gardens introduction.
  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 $8.07
    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.
  4. Echinacea purpurea Pow Wow White Photo Courtesy of Walter's Gardens Inc.

    16-20" x 14-16" wide. Pow Wow® White Echinacea is an outstanding, seed grown cultivar that blooms all season with a profusion of white flowers over a compact plant....

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    PowWow® White Echinacea PowWow® White Coneflower Echinacea purpurea PowWow® White
    Sale Price I Save 15%
    $9.99 Sale $8.49
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    16-20" x 14-16" wide. Pow Wow® White Echinacea is an outstanding, seed grown cultivar that blooms all season with a profusion of white flowers over a compact plant.
  5. Red Salvia greggii Furman's Red, Salvia greggii Furman's Red, Furman's Red Texas Sage

    2005 Plant Select Winner. 24-36" tall x 18" wide. Furman's Red is one of the most cold hardy of the native Salvia greggii family. Blooming in late spring and again in the fall, the p...

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    Furman's Red Texas Salvia Furman's Red Texas Sage Salvia greggii Furman's Red
    $10.99
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    2005 Plant Select Winner. 24-36" tall x 18" wide. Furman's Red is one of the most cold hardy of the native Salvia greggii family. Blooming in late spring and again in the fall, the plant covers itself with bright red flowers that attract the hummingbirds from miles around. Sweetly aromatic foliage too. A 2005 Plant Select winner. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
  6. Mellow Yellows Coneflower, Echinacea 'Mellow Yellows'

    Mellow Yellows Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a study in harmony with beautiful blossoms ranging from cream to gold. Blooming from early summer to first frost, Mellow Yellows has...

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    Mellow Yellows Echinacea Mellow Yellows Coneflower Echinacea purpurea Mellow Yellows
    As low as $11.99 Sale $10.19
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Mellow Yellows Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) is a study in harmony with beautiful blossoms ranging from cream to gold. Blooming from early summer to first frost, Mellow Yellows has a long-lasting steady supply of blooms, making it an essential garden workhorse. Butterflies, bees, and birds are frequent visitors to Echinacea, and you can leave tall, sturdy flowers up over the winter for visual interest and food supplies. Beautiful for cut flowers on long, sturdy stems.
  7. Professor Kippenberg New York Aster

    Aster Novi-belgii ‘Professor Kippenberg’ is a reliably blooming New York Aster with late summer/early fall display of blue flowers on tall self-supporting stems....

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    Professor Kippenberg New York Aster Professor Kippenberg New York Aster Aster novi-belgii Professor Kippenberg
    Sale Price I Save 15%
    $9.99 Sale $8.49
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Aster Novi-belgii ‘Professor Kippenberg’ is a reliably blooming New York Aster with late summer/early fall display of blue flowers on tall self-supporting stems.
  8. Showy Pink Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa

    Showy Pink Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is an essential wildflower for supporting Monarch butterflies by providing food for caterpillars and nectar for the adult butterflies. 3-4 ft...

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    Showy Pink Milkweed Showy Pink Milkweed Asclepias speciosa
    As low as $11.99 Sale $10.19
    Per Plant - 5" Deep Pot
    Showy Pink Milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) is an essential wildflower for supporting Monarch butterflies by providing food for caterpillars and nectar for the adult butterflies. 3-4 ft. tall x 24-30" wide.

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