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. Sporobolus wrightii Windbreaker Photo Courtesy of Plant Select

    Sporobolus wrightii Windbreaker (Lunas Form of Giant Sacaton Grass) is the largest of all our native grasses growing to enormous size at maturity. Blooming in mid-summer, the flower...

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    Sporobolus wrightii Windbreaker Los Lunas Form of Giant Sacaton Grass Sporobolus wrightii Windbreaker
    As low as $10.99 Sale $9.34
    Per Plant - 3.25" Pot
    Sporobolus wrightii Windbreaker (Lunas Form of Giant Sacaton Grass) is the largest of all our native grasses growing to enormous size at maturity. Blooming in mid-summer, the flower spikes vary in color from blonde to bronze. This ornamental grass is a drought resistant/drought tolerant perennial plant (xeric). Exclusive.
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  2. Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition, Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass

    Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition PP#22,048) is a native ornamental grass with a completely new look. The horizontal eyelash-like chartreuse flower...

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    Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition PP#22,048 Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition
    As low as $11.99 Sale $10.19
    Per Plant - 5" Pot

    Blonde Ambition Blue Grama Grass (Bouteloua gracilis Blonde Ambition PP#22,048) is a native ornamental grass with a completely new look. The horizontal eyelash-like chartreuse flowers appear in mid-summer and age to blonde seed heads by fall. They are held on the plant right through the winter to provide many months of interest. 2011 Plant of The Year

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  3. Panicum virgatum Shenandoah Photo Courtesy Hoffman Nursery, Inc.

    Shenandoah is a selection of our native prairie switchgrass grown for its burgundy colored foliage and pinkish flower spikes. This grass has especially nice fall color with the gra...

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    Panicum virgatum Shenandoah Shenandoah Switch Grass Panicum virgatum Shenandoah
    As low as $12.99
    Per Plant - 3.25" Pot
    Shenandoah is a selection of our native prairie switchgrass grown for its burgundy colored foliage and pinkish flower spikes. This grass has especially nice fall color with the grass blades tinted with red and orange. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant (xeric).
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  4. Prunus besseyi ‘PS’ (Pawnee Buttes) Photo Courtesy of Plant Select

    An outstanding selection of our western native sand cherry, Pawnee Buttes is a low growing, groundcover shrub with a profusion of fragrant white flowers in early spring and showy mah...

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    Prunus besseyi ‘P011S’ (Pawnee Buttes) Pawnee Buttes® Sand Cherry Prunus besseyi P011S
    As low as $11.99 Sale $7.19
    Per Plant - 5" Pot
    An outstanding selection of our western native sand cherry, Pawnee Buttes is a low growing, groundcover shrub with a profusion of fragrant white flowers in early spring and showy mahogany-red foliage in the fall. Drought resistant/drought tolerant plant. Prunus besseyi ‘P011S’ is a 2000 Plant Select® introduction. 12-18" tall x 4-6' wide.
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