WEEK­END GAR­DENER

Make a dec­o­ra­tive wreath de­signed to at­tract and feed birds through­out fall and win­ter.

Country Gardens - - Contents -

A wreath stocked with the nuts, berries, and seeds beloved by birds cel­e­brates the har­vest and caters to winged vis­i­tors through win­ter. We’ll show you how to make it.

If you pause to no­tice, fall’s

glory can be found in golden mo­ments when birds gather to sing con­tent­edly while they nib­ble seeds in the gar­den. These pre­cious events pro­vide in­spi­ra­tion for a wreath de­signed as a gift for the birds and a cel­e­bra­tion of the har­vest sea­son.

Find the ma­te­ri­als—dried seed heads, fresh flow­ers, sprigs of berries, and branch tips— most read­ily avail­able from late sum­mer un­til late fall in the gar­den or at a farm­ers mar­ket. Try us­ing seed heads from sun­flower, pur­ple cone­flower, gold­en­rod, and this­tle. Fresh-cut flow­ers and berries, such as bit­ter­sweet, ju­niper, sumac, and vir­bur­num, will also add color to your wreath. If you’re not al­ready grow­ing ama­ranth, flax, broom­corn, quak­ing oat-grass, or other plants that pro­duce seed heads fa­vored by birds, add them to your plant­ing plans for next year. On­line sources of­fer ma­te­ri­als year-round.

Once branch tips or twigs (thick as a pen­cil) are tucked into the wreath base, they make sturdy perches for birds who visit the feast. A well-stocked wreath lasts through­out win­ter. If left through spring, the wreath’s re­main­ing bits of stems and straw pro­vide nest­ing ma­te­ri­als for feath­ered vis­i­tors.

WRIT­TEN AND PRO­DUCED BY KATE CARTER FRED­ER­ICK PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY CAR­SON DOWN­ING

A handy seed-filled wreath puts its tasty menu within reach of fly-in din­ers. Hang the feeder where birds have easy ac­cess to it as well as nearby cover in shrubs or trees.

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