Christmas trees for the birds

Our award winning garden blogger Geoff Stonebanks shares his creative ideas for feeding the birds this Christmas.

Garlands, pine cones and citrus on my tree.
Published on Tagged with ,

How about some garden inspirations for the upcoming festive season? I’ve created a lovely Christmas tree for the birds and a home made wreath inspired by what I’ve found in the house and garden.

Bird tree feast

A festive treat for the birds.

I’ve bought a small tree in a pot and turned it into a special outdoor tree for the birds this Christmas. It’s easy to do with some food items you probably already have around the house and garden. The pine cones, picked up on dog walks in the woods locally, make great feeders and are very easy to create. Just gently work pieces from bird fat balls into the cone and then wire them to hang on to the tree.

Citrus baskets

Oranges and lemons are very useful to create small hanging baskets for bird food. Just take a piece of the fruit, cut in half, scoop out the fruit flesh and then carefully push a large needle or skewer through either side of the half, thread with some ribbon or wire and knot it either side and them fill up with bird food and hang on the tree. Use a mix of oranges and lemons and the tree will really look amazing.

If you have any more oranges to spare, then try creating patterns in the whole orange by studding or inserting with dried cloves and secure the ribbon around the sphere either with pins or the cloves themselves.

A final idea is to use a combination of nuts and dried fruits of your choice to create colourful garlands for the tree too. Use a large needle, threaded with fine wire or strong cotton, and thread the fruit and nuts into a garland, as long as you require, to decorate the tree. The end result, this beautifully decked tree is a real festive treat for the birds this Christmas.

Oranges and lemons are very useful to create small hanging baskets for bird food.

Festive wreath

Now raid the garden for some greenery and colour to make your own festive door wreath. I bought a couple of moss rings in a local florists and tried my hand at creating my own Christmas decoration that can be used as a table decoration or on the front door. I’ve got plentiful supplies of both holly and ivy growing in the garden and I’ve used some of the lower branches of the Christmas Tree to start the wreath off. You’ll need some pieces of wire and if your holly has no berries you can cheat by buying some red berries on wire to add to the finished wreath. Start off by wiring each piece of greenery you plan to use; holly, ivy and tree branches. Next up work your way around the moss circle, carefully securing each piece with the wire to the moss circle by winding the wire around the frame, until it is covered with a mixture of the greenery. You can also add in some of the pine cones you have left and even spray paint the cones gold or silver before adding. Finish off with adding a wire hook or ribbon loop if you plan to hang it on the door!

Have a great Christmas!

My Christmas wreath
Geoff Stonebanks

About Geoff Stonebanks

Geoff Stonebanks lives in Bishopstone, near Seaford in East Sussex and spends all his time gardening and fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support. Using his multi award-winning garden - Driftwood - he has raised over £95,000 for various charities in 8 years, £56,000 of that for Macmillan. The garden, which first opened to the public in 2009 has featured on BBC2 Gardeners' World, Good Morning Britain and in many national and local media publications. In his spare time, Geoff is also the National Garden Scheme's Social Media & Publicity Chair as well as an Assistant County Organiser & Publicity Officer in East & Mid Sussex.
View all posts by Geoff.