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Birds & Blooms

Birds & Blooms February/March 2019

Birds & Blooms is the #1 bird and garden magazine in North America with more than 1 million subscribers. We pride ourselves in celebrating the “beauty in your own backyard” with a mix of expert advice and personal stories from our family of readers. Our magazine covers a wide range of topics such as attracting hummingbirds, building birdhouses, gardening for butterflies, feeding birds for less, growing veggies, tales of readers’ birding experiences, plus a whole lot more.

United States
Trusted Media Brands Inc.
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7 Números

En este número

2 min.
i think we can all agree:

Birds are super cute. But when it comes to giving the title of the cutest bird to just one species, there is a difference of opinion. Associate editor Rachel Maidl declares the ruby-crowned kinglet the cutest, while art director Sharon Nelson sides with the yellow warbler. And my vote is for the black-capped chickadee. To help us settle this friendly debate, we asked the Birds & Blooms Facebook audience and field editors to weigh in. After combing through their answers, we came up with a list of the 10 cutest birds in North America. Turn to page 28 to read about the dashing good looks and entertaining antics that make them so charming, and see stunning photos of them being…well…simply adorable. Many of the birds on our list are frequent backyard visitors,…

1 min.
smell the roses

English Rose From David Austin Roses Zones 5 to 10 While shrub roses vary in size, color and hardiness, few bring in wildlife like Scarborough Fair. It produces soft pink, cupped blooms with a musky, old rose scent. Grow it near a walkway or patio to fully indulge in the delicious smell. Its disease resistance is also a plus. Attracts: Light needs: Full sun. Size: At 2½ feet tall and 2 feet wide, it’s fairly compact. Grown for: Long-lasting blooms that wow from early summer to hard frost in autumn. Foliage: Glossy, deep green leaves frame pointed buds. Notable characteristics: Gold stamens among the pink petals attract pollinators. BIRD BENEFITS Sheltering branches and thorns protect birds from hungr y predators. Instead of trimming, let these roses knit themselves together to create more cover.…

2 min.
the thing about thistle

Tube or sock feeders full of thistle seed are a common way to welcome songbirds into your garden. But the next time you refill your feeders, think about this. The seeds you’re buying at the store aren’t what you might think. They don’t come from the plant we know as thistle here in North America. What’s in the package is another seed that’s just as tasty and healthy for backyard birds. “When people refer to thistle seed that goes in feeders, they’re generally not talking about the seed that comes from either native or invasive thistle. They’re talking about Nyjer,” said John Rowden, director of community conservation at the National Audubon Society. Nyjer seeds come from the African yellow daisy, a plant not commonly grown in the United States. The seeds are collected…

1 min.
the feed

FEEDER WITH A TWIST This 39-inch Super Spiral Nyjer Feeder from Duncraft holds almost 4 pounds of seeds and has cast-metal, removable caps for cleaning. Find it at duncraft.com for $50. I scatter Nyjer seed on the grass under sock feeders for ground foragers. All manner of birds flock to it!Keith Golden LAKE CARROLL, ILLINOIS PICKY EATERS Nyjer seeds are tiny, but they still have a shell. If you think your backyard birds might be just pecking at their food—not eating it—check the ground litter for thin hulls.…

5 min.
in the limelight

1 Green Star gladiola GLADIOLUS, ZONES 8 TO 11 This rising star is ideal for adding tiers of height to your garden. About 10 to 12 of the 3-inch florets along the stem open all at once during their July and August performances. Butterflies are also big fans. Grow Green Star near burgundy, purple or white blooms. Why we love it: Reaching 4 feet tall, these pastel giants add drama to summer bouquets. 2 Envy zinnia ZINNIA, ANNUAL It’s not the color of these nearly 3-inch double and semidouble chartreuse blooms that invokes garden envy—it’s how easy zinnias are to grow. They grow quickly from seed, pop with color all summer long and they make lovely cut flowers. Plus their 2-foot height shades out weeds. Why we love it: In addition to all the pros of zinnias,…

2 min.
multiply your plants

If you like to save money, you’ll love the idea of rooting stem cuttings. And it’s pretty simple—find a straight species, an older cultivar or plant not under a patent, clip off a juvenile section of the plant’s stem, then coax roots to grow from it. Just think, you can clone as many examples of the mother plant as you wish for the cost of potting medium and a jar of rooting hormone. “Because many plants root readily from cuttings, this is one of the most popular forms of propagation, especially for trees, shrubs and vines,” says Justin Hancock, horticulturist at Costa Farms. “Propagating with cuttings doesn’t usually interfere with the plants’ growth, and you don’t need to worry about pollinating a flower and waiting for the seeds to ripen—or digging…