Garden Photo of the Day

Birdhouses are a pop of color in borders

Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais
Click here to enlarge this photo.
Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Colorful birdhouses are striking focal points in addition to homes for the local birds in this mixed border at the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

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  1. Deanneart 08/11/2010


  2. wGardens 08/11/2010

    ....THREE thumbs up! Great!

  3. grizmom3 08/11/2010

    Yes it adds a "pop" of color. Too gaudy for my tastes. Too much of a naturalist, I suppose. Guess positive comments are preferred and maybe even required, but this project does not impress this gardener. Sorry. Too each his/her own.

  4. wwross 08/11/2010

    Yes, color combinations can be subjective. But the idea is great.

  5. Cinf 08/11/2010

    Well, I for one, love these colors. They stand out but aren't gaudy or childlike and I think the post add a soft, more formal edge than what I normally see in birdhouses.

  6. user-7006893 08/11/2010

    These are wonderful! The colors are lovely and complement the foliage beautifully. Just splendid!

  7. KariLonning 08/11/2010

    I'm pretty sure that the artists who made these were Anne Rugg and Doug Ostrander. Doug is/was a fine jeweler who switched over to making these.

  8. ImBetony 08/11/2010

    I love the look of these birdhouses--wonder about the paint, though. Sooner or later our birdhouses always seem to get gnawed about the entrance. I'm thinking that area would be best left unpainted.

  9. user-7006885 08/11/2010

    What is that tall bush behind the birdhouse in the topmost picture? Does anyone know?

    I really like bright colorful accents and these compliment the flowers just beautifully.

  10. margotnavarre 08/11/2010

    The colors stand out. The bush is salmon berry? What type of birds nest in them?

  11. janetdraper 08/12/2010

    delighted to see The Ripley Garden make it into Fine Gardening! I have had the pleasure of playing in this garden for over a decade.

    Kari Lonning is correct, the birdhouses are the beautiful work of Ann and Doug at The Garden Path. I put them up about 4 or 5 years ago to add some vertical accents and to tie the garden into the adjacent Arts and Industries Museum which is highly ornate. So far I have never seen tenants.

    The 'shrub' to the right of the orange birdhouse is a Hibiscus...grew from seed incorrectly labeled as mutabilis. It self sowns vigorously.

  12. grizmom3 08/13/2010

    The Salmonberry-Family:Rosacea; Genus: Rubus. If your shrub blooms pink is is spectabilis. I know this to be a shrub growing in the Pacific NW in moist areas. Since I do not know your specific location I cannot tell you what species of birds may be attracted. I am an avid bird watcher and have traveled most of the country (mostly the Western States and Canada) viewing these wonderful flying marvels. I do know for most birds the seeds are the attraction and I am sure you know the berries are yummy. Also, some species of birds attracted can be quite raucous and for some people an annoyance.

    I know I commented previously on your birdhouses. If I came off as being rude it sure was not meant that way. We are all different and this is what makes the world interesting.

    The best to you

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