Gardening · Miss Mary

Grandpa’s Birdhouses

My father-in-law Tony is a craftsman.  He can do anything, fix anything, wire anything or build anything.  There isn’t a room in our home that he hasn’t had a hand in and he lives in Arkansas.

Years ago, for Christmas, he made bird ranches for the families.  I’m an avid gardener so it was an added pleasure to have the ranch in my garden.  That ranch has taken a beating from the squirrels but it still stands in our yard. 

My sister-in-law gave him a wonderful book “Designer Birdhouses” created by an architect.  I’ve since purchased that book and have given it to two friends.   From that book he’s made MANY new houses for the families and others.  He was featured in his local home paper.  They’re so beautiful;  I don’t have the heart to put them in the garden as they’ll weather taking their beauty away. 

In order for any garden to be successful you need birds.  Birds can play a vital role in the garden’s ecosystem, as pest controllers of everything from snails to aphids, and as consumers of wind­fall fruits, they also entertain us as they visit the feeders, or bird baths.  Who doesn’t enjoy the chickadees, gold finches or cardinals feeding at the bird feeders?

When you provide them with nesting opportunities (birdhouses), food, water and habitat your back yard will be a haven for birds that will assist in getting rid of your pests.  You need a habitat for the birds to attract them to stay.  Feeding them isn’t enough.  Pick plants that provide a berry such as cotoneaster.  Honey suckle will attract humming birds as will any trumpet flower.  Trees, bushes or vines are essential for a habitat or just resting.




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