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!

 

Spring is here!

NWF Nestlings CoverRoll out the Welcome Mat
The Nesting Season is upon us. Here’s how you can help our native birds and their broods.

  • Provide nesting boxes, trees, thickets and/or dense brush.
  • Nesting birds need extra protein, for themselves and their young. Offer a variety of nuts and seeds in your feeders. 96% of birds rely on insects to feed their young. Maintain a healthy garden with a variety of insects. Avoid herbicides and pesticides.
  • Fresh water is essential for birds. This can be provided by a bird bath, fountain or pond. Remember, birds need a shallow place to sit in the water so that they can drink, wash and preen their feathers safely. Hummingbirds will not enter water that is greater than 1/4″ deep.

Tells us in the comments, What elements do you or will you provide for our native birds this nesting season?

Happy Spring!

 

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?

 

Celebrate with The Soulful Gardener

Carderock-C-O-Potomac-landscape-frame-059.JPGAt the NEW Homewood Suites, Gaithersburg Grand Opening on Thursday, June 11th from 4 p.m. –
7 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. & get more information here.

The Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 5:45 p.m.

“Celebrate our hotel opening with Homewood’s Lewis the Duck and support the Gaithersburg environment as the Muddy Branch Alliance showcases local artists in support of our tributary streams and watershed. Displayed art will be available for purchase. ”  ~ Homewood Suites, Washington D.C. North, Gaithersburg

False-Blue-Indigo-Frame-May-Potomac.JPGAs one of the guest artists, I will have a collection of signature photographs on display and available for purchase. I will also have information about custom presentations you can schedule for your garden club, eco-action group, HOA and/or green organization.

Come celebrate the opening of Homewood Suites while looking at beautiful local art and enjoying some nibbles and noshes. Remember to R.S.V.P. so we can plan accordingly.

Hope to see all my local Soulful friends there!

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!

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