One is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.
I get asked often about how to start a new planting bed - for flowers, veggies, whatever. We had a planting bed on the side of the house that got all day sun, and had very little growing there, so we decided to use it to grow tomatoes and peppers. I documented the steps in pictures as we went through it.
Move over bunnies, my next enemy is the squirrel. These tree rats cause a lot of havoc in our yards, eating bird seed, digging up lawns, shorting out transformers, snipping off buds on trees and shrubs, and when populations are large they can also eat the bark on trees like rabbits do.
I look out my front window seething, watching well-fed bunnies happily hopping all around my yard. Don't let them fool you - even though they are fluffy and cute, they are pure evil under all that silky soft fur and innocent demeanor. Just ask Elmer Fudd and his friends – who have hunted and tracked their silly prey for over 70 years. Bugs Bunny is less interested in escape than in driving his pursuer insane and can be heard to say (with casual unconcern), “What’s Up, Doc?”. Well, bunnies, I will hunt you down, trap you all, and get rid of you – for the next 70 years if I have to! You have eaten your last tulip just as it opens up – sawing off the flower stem with a diagonal bite and leaving the flower petals to dry up on the lawn in the spring sun. To use your own catchphrase, "Of course you realize this means war!" This is not fun and games. You seriously have to go.
There has been a few days in the last couple of weeks that were nice enough to get out into my yard. I was itching to get out there! I moved into my current home in late November, so I had no clue as to what types of perennials or bulbs or woody shrubs I had. I'm anxious to assess the yard, see what is already there and determine what stays and what goes. There are a lot of things I want to change about it - and I was making mental notes as I did a thorough walk around. There are many aesthetic things I want to change, but there are a few things that if not corrected quickly will result in bad things happening. Here's a few of the bad things I found:
Check out this Saturday morning Gardening Radio show: http://www.wlip.com/Plant-Chatter/4551147
I've found that landscapers first pay a lot of attention to solving functional needs, creating the hardscapes and paths, and picking plants to cover or focus on an area. These are important things that need to be planned, but it seems that color ends up being the last consideration. When someone asks me for help to design their yard, one of the first things I ask them are what colors do they like and dislike. When you sit down in your backyard to relax, what do you want to look at? If you hate yellow and you have a yard filled with Stella D'Oro daylillies, it would be a bit upsetting. That is why I make sure that color is part of the plan from the beginning.
As the days get warmer I am compelled to get outside and start looking at my flower beds. We moved to this house in late November, so I have no idea what spring flowers may pop up, and what perennials will emerge soon. I did a walk around the last few days to see if I can see some bulbs popping up, and I did notice a few, but there were some obvious empty places still. Friends that live in the Waukesha area have told me that their spring flowers are already up and blooming!
I know, the headline grabbed you, right? It grabbed me too, and I had to read on. I get a daily email from TipNut.com and this was in with today's tips. I thought they must be kidding, but they aren't. Take a look at it!
Why do we feed the birds? Because we want to watch them! I always feel bad for the birds that have to brave our cold winters, so I make sure that they always have something to eat if they are anywhere near my yard. You can provide most any type of bird seed and you will attract birds, but if you'd like a variety of birds, you need to use the right type of feeders and fill them with their preferred food.
This time of the year we gardeners can't garden. This is one of the many reasons I hate winter. With time on your hands your mind starts to wander - you worry about your plants freezing, you are wondering if bunnies are eating the tender bark of your shrubs and hoping that the birds are using your plants for food and shelter. What else can you do? Many of us take this time to make plans for the changes they want to make to their landscapes in the spring. One of my favorite things to do is to go through seed catalogs. Another favorite thing I do is to hit my stack of gardening magazines that I never seem to have time for during the growing season.
As Fall brings freezing temps at night, annuals have all but disappeared, but that doesn't mean that your garden has to stop showing off. There are some cold temperature hardy plants that provide beautiful color and interesting shapes during this season. Ornamental kale is one of my favorites.