Do you have a birdhouse in your garden?  Is it decorative or do have there ever been birds taking up residence inside?


This is a story about the birdhouses on the family farm, including one that has an unusual function.


Double S Farms is five minutes down the road from our house and is where my youngest sister and her family live along with my mother.


I am over at the farm at least once a week – usually for the weekly dinner that my mother cooks for our entire clan.  It is a special time when I get to spend time with my siblings, their spouses and kids.  We get to catch up with each other’s lives and get to enjoy delicious food, cooked by my mother, Pastor Farmer. 
(My mother is a retired pastor who loves growing food on their small farm).


The backyard is dotted with numerous trees including apple, kumquat, almond, pecan, peach, apricto, plum, orange, lemon and grapefruit.  But, I always seem to find myself strolling by my mother’s raised vegetable beds to see what she is growing.

This past week, she was excited to show me her newest birdhouse.

Now, my mother has is a collector and has passed that gene along to her oldest daughter (me).  One of her collections consists of birdhouses.  Over the years, she has pared this collection of aviary homes down.  But there is still a small collection of birdhouses in her garden…


I love this birdhouse, which is purely decorative.  But, the chickens seem to find it a nice perch back when it stood in the chicken yard…


Now it sits with in the fenced-in vegetable garden area.


The gardens are now fenced in because the netting was not enough to keep the chickens out – including ‘Francie’ my sister’s naked-neck chicken (yes, her neck is supposed to be featherless).


If you look closely behind the first birdhouse, you will see one that looks like the ‘Tin Man’s head’ from the Wizard of Oz. 


Like the other birdhouse, it is also decorative.  I remember being with her when she bought it at a roadside nursery just outside of Carmel, Indiana during our Midwest road trip.

There are many nesting sites around Double S Farms and the birdhouse below, is one of them.


This birdhouse hangs from the Mesquite tree.  It is made from a gourd that I grew, dried and then made into a birdhouse for her.  I love this gourd birdhouse and have one in my own garden.

Well, now to the unusual birdhouse…


It doesn’t look all that unusual at first glance.

But, what this birdhouse is hiding is not a nest, but my mother’s hand tools that she uses for her vegetable garden.

They are easily accessible and are always on hand when she needs to harvest vegetables, remove weeds, etc.

She came up with this idea herself and just loves it.  The birdhouse was bought at our local Ace Hardware store and the top lifts up, making it easy to access her tools.

What types of birdhouses do you have in your garden?  


Are they decorative or have you had birds set up house in any of them?


Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

4 replies
  1. Unknown
    Unknown says:

    Hi, I was asking that same question just this past weekend about my empty birdhouses. My friend who is an avid birder told me that in AZ the birds don't choose the bird houses because it's simply too hot in there.

    I'm not going to give up. I'm going to relocate mine to a really shady spot and see what happens.

    Reply

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