Leaf ’em alone

Keep those valuable nutrients on your own property 

A leaf layer…

  1. Fall Leaves 2Creates an ecosystem where many insects & animals will find warmth, shelter and winter food. Check out these Freezable Frogs who rely
    on a leaf layer for winter survival.
  2. Reduces the use of fossil fuels to transport leaves to an off-site composter.
  3. Reduces the cost of purchasing them back next season as finished leaf compost.
  4. Prevents organic matter from entering the landfill, where it produces dangerous gases as it breaks down.
  5. Use shredded leaves as fall mulch.

Learn how here…

Fall reFresh

After days of rain & being inside, I find the urge to bust the blues by adding some fall color to the garden. Especially when I can add that splash of color right outside the window for all to enjoy. One of my fall favorites is Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender.’ This plant is in the mint family and boasts an abundance of attractive lavender flowers which bloom over a long period of time. This hardy plant will last until frost.

As is typical of plants in the mint family, this plant has square stems, opposite leaves and tubular, two-lipped flowers. In this case, each group of flowers are presented on long 6” spikes surrounded by glossy, dark green leaves with a hint of purple underneath. This lovely plant enjoys moist, well-drained soils and partial shade. One note: it will help to remove flower spikes after blooms have finished.

It is readily available & commonly sold as a hanging basket which makes changing the over-grown summer hanging baskets for theseTSG, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Fall Garden Flowers fresh new fall baskets super simple, while providing instant gratification for the cooped up garden lover.

The special benefit is that it also provides late-season nectar for migrating Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. An important eco-service in our Certified Wildlife Habitat, as well as a source of entertainment for our whole family.

Hope you are enjoying this beautiful fall weather, too.

Happy Gardening!

Leave ’em for the Latecomers

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird migration is prompted by hormones, not weather. Go ahead and leave those feeders up as a nectar source for the stragglers coming from the north. Especially since flower sources begin to dwindle during the fall season in most home gardens.

For more fun facts, check out this entertaining and informative video, below. Or, click on this How to Attract Hummingbirds to your Garden link.

#HappyGardening!

Not long now…

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Bluebird on CWF Sign 4-2016A Wildlife Habitat continues to attract new faces, year after year.

Since certifying our yard as a Wildlife Habitat in 2009, we have seen many species of local wildlife including birds, amphibians, mammals & insects. As we care for and enjoy our habitat year after year, we are pleasantly rewarded with an increased variety of visitors.

Lately, we have been especially surprised by several new feathered faces. Not only are we currently being visited by Eastern Bluebirds for the first time, but today, we also saw our first ever
Black-Throated Blue Warbler (below). What a wonderful treat!
Black-Throated Blue Warbler, How to attract birds to your garden, backyard habitat
Watch the video below, as an Indigo Bunting enjoys a water course that was added to the pond last spring.

These shallow waters are perfect
for drinking, bathing and preening
all-year long.

Maintaining a wildlife habitat in your backyard has long-lasting benefits. Being engaged with nature can improve your mood and your health, as well as provide entertainment & education for your whole family. The longer you maintain your habitat, the more species you will have the pleasure of seeing & learning about.

Who is visiting your backyard habitat this Spring?

Happy Gardening!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

DSC00671Roses are Red
These Birds are Blue
So Happy to Start
This Day with You!

I hope you are having a lovely Valentine’s Day morning. My husband and I got up early this morning to enjoy a cup of coffee together before making a special Valentine’s Day breakfast for our teenage daughters.

As we woke slowly, we noticed some new friends at the feeder. Their unmistakable colors gave them away. I quickly grabbed my camera while my husband enjoyed watching these Easter Bluebirds eating from our feeders and drinking from the backyard pond.

They stayed for several hours. When the kids got up, we all enjoyed watching these symbols of happiness while we ate our special holiday breakfast. Complete with heart-shaped pancakes. We enjoyed their visit immensely. It reminded us of all the fun we had monitoring a Bluebird Trail last summer. A very warm thought on this very cold day.

These are the times when our family is rewarded for keeping our feeders filled and for providingDSC00696 fresh, unfrozen water during the winter. These items are vital to our overwintering birds and wildlife. Luckily for the Bluebirds, meal worms were on the menu. A staple in their diet.

I like how this guy is eyeing the frog, as if it might jump in and join him for a drink.

DSC00700This little lady seems to be multi-tasking by bathing and drinking at the same time. Two birds, one stone.

We do not normally see Eastern Bluebirds in our backyard habitat for more than a fly-by, but today they came and spent all morning, delighting us all with their presence.

What a perfect gift of happiness on a day dedicated to love.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my Soulful Friends!

Quitting time

fish, pond, hummingbird, dragonfly 2014 019Remember to stop feeding your pond fish once the water temperature falls below 50 degrees.

Cold temperatures slow their metabolism as they prepare for winter, which in turn slows their digestion.

 

Fall Finishers

Sweet BeeIt is important to support pollinators all season long. though we have had some cold spells here and there, our pollinators are still active and in need of food and water.

Remember to include fall-blooming plants in your garden plan, on your balcony or on your deck. Plants in the chrysanthemum and aster families work great this time of year. Pineapple Sage and pansies are also on my list of fall favorites.

What fall-bloomers do you enjoy most?

 

Feathered Fatherhood

Watch the loving care this father gives his baby

It’s that time of year when the birds are nesting and rearing their young. I kept hearing a baby bird out my window. I snuck up with my camera and this is what I found.
Click here to learn more about “How to attract birds to your garden.”

Click here to see the video. Cardinal feeding his baby

Enjoy!

Please “Like”, “Share” & “Forward” 

A Key Ingredient in attracting Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterflies

caterpillar on bronze fennel 003 (2)Many herbs act as host plants for Lepidoptera (caterpillars). Learn how Bronze Fennel supports the life-cycle of the Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly.

Not only does it look beautiful and smell delicious, you and your family will have fun examining it all season for eggs, caterpillars and chrysalises.

Happy Gardening!