Sometimes I look at that dead branch and wonder why I haven’t pruned it back to the major limb that’s actually alive. The branch belongs to a Red Tip Photinia which I planted decades ago when I was a newby gardener and knew next-to-nothing about gardening in Central Texas. It sits near a back corner of my house and I’ve kept it because it provides evergreen coverage for the many birds who visit: those who’re migrating through and the neighborhood birds who’re making the rounds to feed, drink, and rest. That’s why I keep the Photinia, but why the dead branch?
This is why.
The branch is perfectly suited for a quick dash to or from the feeder: feeding birds snatching a snack, then retreat to the large shrub to nosh. Sometimes the birds prefer the foliaged parts, sometimes, they’re content to perch in the open.
What I’ve learned in the decades since I plopped the Photinia into the ground is that the perfectly coiffed “yard” is not an inviting home or welcoming place for birds, bees, butterflies and other critters. My goals in gardening have changed from those early days and I prefer plants, or plant parts, that are useful for those critters who live among us critters.
The branch will eventually break, either from a heavy wind or rain, or just because–but I won’t bring it down. I’ll leave it for the birds until events require them to find another place to park.
I’m happy to link today with Anna at her lovely Flutter and Hum and Wednesday Vignette; pop on over to enjoy garden stories.