Urban Bird Habitat Garden

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Last October, I posted two photos of a nice hellstrip along the west side (12th Street, N.W.) of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History.

In mid October of this year I discovered the Urban Bird Habitat Garden, on the other side of the sidewalk. It’s essentially all the grounds of the museum on the north, west, and south sides (the east side is the Smithsonian’s Butterfly Habitat Garden).

The bird habitat was established in July 2012 (one of twelve Smithsonian gardens). Native trees, shrubs, and perennials were especially chosen to create “an oasis” for many of the more than 300 birds species found in Washington, D.C.

Although the garden is very narrow along 12th Street and the Mall, it was full of birdsong during my visit.

You can click on ‘Continue reading’ below to scroll through larger images of the garden. (And you can see the garden in other seasons here.)

Continue reading “Urban Bird Habitat Garden”

Prairie strip, Washington, D.C.

Hellstrip west of Museum of Natural History, Wash., DC/enclos*ureThis is an example of how nice an urban ‘hellstrip’ can be. It’s just to the west of the Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution. I took this photo in the last few days of September.

Hellstrip west of Museum of Natural History, Wash., DC/enclos*ureI think they are all American native plants. I see a fine grass I can’t identify (just visible in the top photo), goldenrod (‘Fireworks’?), amsonia (I think), and the seedheads of purple coneflower.

I like the arrangement of squares of a single species, one after another, rather than all of the plants in one long mix.  It goes well with the surrounding architecture.

Sometimes I save a weed if its leaves
are spread fern-like, hand-like,
or if it grows with a certain impertinence.
I let the goldenrod stay and the wild asters.
I save the violets in spring.   People who kill violets
will do anything.

Ann Struthers, from “Planting the Sand Cherry