Garden Designs with Birds and Butterflies in Mind
Kris Vento

Placing a bird feeder isn’t the only way to attract birds to your property this spring! Incorporating a variety of plants and shrubs that provide nectar, seeds, and nest material will keep beneficial wildlife coming back to your landscape all season long. With just a few additions to your garden, you can attract songbirds, hummingbirds, and butterflies all while brightening your landscape. Birds and insects play an important role in our local ecosystem as pollinators that help your flowers bloom and reproduce throughout the year. Most plant species included below are perennials and will reappear each year, providing a welcoming and blooming landscape for fauna to thrive.


Cornflower, also known as bachelor’s buttons, provides nutrients to birds, bees, and butterflies with nearly every part of its structure, from the foliage to the seeds. The bright blooms range in color from pink to deep blue and grow from late spring to summer in full sunlight. Cornflowers are annuals, but they self-seed, meaning they will most likely return the following year if you let the flowers dry out at the end of the season.


The bright pink petals and orange spiny seeds of the echinacea flower attract bees and hummingbirds when freshly bloomed. Once the flowers fade and the seeds mature, echinacea becomes a favorite of goldfinches, who enjoy nibbling the seeds well into the fall. The echinacea plant prefers full sun and grows in late spring and summer. These plants are perennials, requiring little maintenance and reappearing every season!


More commonly known as bee balm, monarda is a popular perennial flower with an exceptional ability to attract local pollinators like bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds! These balm plants boast impressive and unique colors, and their foliage emits a fresh citrus scent. The flowers emerge in late spring and range from light pink to dark red, so you can pick the perfect variety to fit in with your garden.


Although daisies bloom in the spring and summer, their seeds are a fall favorite for finches, sparrows, cardinals, and towhees. Once these cheerful blossoms have lost their luster, let them stay on the stalk so the seeds can mature and attract birds in the fall. Daisies are sun-loving perennials that come back every spring to add joy to your garden.

Butterfly Bush

The butterfly bush is a heavy hitter when it comes to attracting pollinators. This fast-growing shrub can grow hundreds of cone-shaped trusses full of tiny flowers. Butterfly bushes enjoy partial to full sun and require little care except for gentle pruning in the fall. Bees and butterflies flock to this bush, and the light pink to purple blooms add color to your landscape from late spring through the summer.


The marigold does double duty, attracting beneficial pollinators and deterring pests that like to feed on vegetables like worms, caterpillars, and slugs. In addition, marigolds are a great companion plant for tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers, as they all enjoy full sun. Depending on the variety, marigolds can be annuals or perennials. As annuals, they will self-seed and reappear in the spring. Once the blooms have faded, and the seeds have matured, the marigold plants attract songbirds that enjoy them through the fall and winter.

If you’re looking to create a spring songbird oasis, contact us! We can help transform your landscape into a pollinator paradise to enjoy all season long.