A book review of Gardening For The Birds by George Adams. “How do you turn your yard into an inviting sanctuary, where birds will come to nest, raise their families, and seek shelter for the winter?”- George asks in the first pages of his book “Gardening For The Birds”. From the introduction of this book is a noticeable George Adams’ pedagogical approach. Written with clarity, style, and passion, this book gives us the necessary tools to design and build our own garden that will be able to attract fascinating birds. The book’s content is divided in four parts. In the first two parts, Adams explains the first steps to create or transform your garden into a paradise for birds. Be aware that most of the plants and especially the birds’ species are found in North America. Thus, if you design a garden in North America, all the content of the book is suitable for you, otherwise, if your yard’s site is not in North America, you might still use some information from this book, especially from Part One and Part Two. However, you should consider consulting other books about plants and birds’ species that are appropriate to your region.
Gardening For The Birds
In the first half of Part One, you will find detailed information about some of the birds’ habits regarding food, shelter and nesting sites. Additionally, you will find, all over the book, images and self-explanatory tables and charts that are extremely helpful as a reference guide. For instance, one of these charts illustrates seven types of bills of birds together with their corresponding food preferences. All bird-feeding examples given by Adams are examples in which birds are able to get their food from the plants, and there is no example in which the author references any supplemental bird-feeding method. Hummingbirds in Your Garden In the second half of Part One, you will have access to information about hummingbirds, one of the most beautiful birds in nature, and about butterflies, one of the insects, oftentimes desired in a garden. Adams offers us, in this part, a very helpful chart about some of hummingbirds’ and butterfly’s habits. This chart is organized by plants listed alphabetically by botanic name; for each plant, you will find information related to flower color, light needed for cultivation, estimated flowering months, hardiness zones, approximate mature height and how it could attract birds and butterflies.These plants are only some suggestions made by the author and, therefore, over time, you might create your own calendar and use it as supplementary material for your future project’s presentations. Pick up Your Copy Here! In Part Two, Adams makes clear the importance of using native plants and gives some directions to understand our own yard taking into consideration basic knowledge about site orientation, existing vegetation, climate, soil pH and fertility, and drainage. Moreover, you will find a concise explanation with fundamental information about developing, creating and maintaining such gardens. Two huge lists, organized by plants and another by birds, form the last two parts of the book. The former is the “Plant Directory” (Part Three) and the latter is the “Birds Directory” (Part Four). The “Plant Directory” includes plant’s characteristics such as nesting and roosting capabilities for birds, having nectar and hosting place for butterflies, having nectar for hummingbirds, and the plant’s fall color and showy flowers. The list would have benefited if it had an icon showing whether the plant can also provide food for the birds and provides a better connection with the birds’ bills information given in Part One. Pick up Your Copy Here! In the “Birds Directory”, you will find a big list of birds, that can be found throughout North America, with information such as birds habitats, migration and winter range, breeding range, breeding behavior, nesting and feeding habits. Together with each species presented in this part, you will find a short list in a green box with some plants species for bird food and shelter. In these green boxes, you will find the bird food information missed in the previous part, and that could complement the “Plant Directory”. “The secret is not to run after the butterflies… take care of your garden and they will come to you.” Definitely, if your garden is located in North America, after reading this book, you will have the basic knowledge required to make your yard more attractive for birds, hummingbirds, butterflies, plants and for the people who attend it. “The secret is not to run after the butterflies… take care of your garden and they will come to you.” said Mario Quintana, who was one of the greatest Brazilian poets of the twentieth century. He was definitely right, and George Adams shares with us how we can accomplish this objective.
Pick up your copy of Gardening For The Birds today!
Article by Sarah Suassuna Return to HomepagePublished in