While gardeners across the US may be keen to indulge in a spot of pruning in the next few weeks, one expert has advised those keen to encourage birds to their back yards in the spring to lay down their shears for the time being.
According to Emily Green, the LA sustainable gardening columnist at the LA Times, a significant number of birds will start looking to nest over the coming weeks.
As well as hummingbirds in California, these also include more common species such as sparrows, flycatchers, mourning doves and owls.
As such, gardeners are well-advised to consider leaving the pruning until later in the year so as not to scare birds away and force them to look elsewhere to nest.
The expert states: "If you or your gardeners solemnly swear that they would never interfere with a nest – that they can prune around them – be sceptical. Exposing a nest is a prelude to its destruction."
Furthermore, she adds that, unlike crows nests, most birds nests are difficult to spot, so even the best-intentioned gardeners could accidentally place their garden visitors at risk while engaging in a spot of seasonal pruning.
At the same time, the Christian Science Monitor has advised gardeners to consider growing green cabbage this year, with blue cabbage in particular both easy to grow and tasty.