Chicago Hope: Design Challenge

Photo © Jim Larrison

Design Challenge takes photos of tricky spots in people’s yards and puts them out there for advice from the professionals at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and from our broad audience of participants, some of whom have some serious wildlife gardening credentials (just check out our Featured Sites for proof).

The Details

Location: Chicago, Illinois
Eco-Region: Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Continental) Province
Planting Zone: 6a
Learn more about this place by reading it’s Local Resources Page.

Jonnys Bake Shop2

Photo ©

The garden space in this first image receives the most shade, while the other spots are in full sun.
The gardens are watered for 30 minutes early in the morning and late evening.

Jonnys Bake Shop1

Photo ©

The owner would like to know if any of these plants produce seeds that the birds eat daily & if there’s anything else they could add to make it a more bird friendly yard?

Jonnys Bake Shop3

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Cornell Says:
There are many bird friendly benefits to this yard already, starting with the feeders, suet cages and bird houses along the wall, and a large area devoted to garden space. A closer look reveals that there are not many native seed sources like the owner desires. There are, however, plenty of places and opportunities to add them. Native sunflowers like Helianthus hirsutus and Helianthus strumosus would do well along the walls. Rudbeckia laciniata, Echinacea purpurea and some Big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii) would add structure and color mixed in around the existing plants. All of these additions would provide native seed throughout the seasons.