Sunday, June 7, 2009

Late Gardening

This layout of my garden makes it look a lot better than it really is. Returning North after the Winter in Florida allowed the weeds to take over any area not closely planted. The rose garden and iris are in pretty good shape, and I have dug the annual garden at the back (around the little statue). The garden around the pond is so closely planted that weeds are rare. What you can't see is the East side garden which is covered with the old black plastic pool cover. The weeds and grass were up to my neck! I had two years fighting chiggers and will NOT sit down and start weeding again so I just covered the whole thing. I said goodbye to the Astilbe, Philipandula, and Saxifragia. They can be replaced easier than weeding would be. By the time my son can come and rototil the garden the weeds should be dead. Then I will recover and plant just one section at a time. This time I will put the plants closer together and use a lot of Preen.

These two weeks I am taking care of my 6-year-old granddaughter during the day. She loves gardening with me and has helped groom the rose garden and the path. Then Amazon delivered my copy of "Best-Ever Backyard Birding Tips-Hundreds of Easy Ways to Attract the Birds You Love to Watch". She read parts of it and I read other interesting tips. We started by digging out all the birdbath dishes hidden in the closets and garage and setting them up. Birds came from all over! There already is a fountain bubbling in the middle of the garden, and a table-top fountain on the deck. Very popular, especially with all of the young birds!

Then we dug out all of the feeders and hangers. We washed up the feeders just as they say to do in the book. We don't have a birding store anywhere near, though. We settled for Aco Hardware and were very picky. ONLY Nijer seed and shelled black oil sunflower seed. Now there are 4 seed feeders, one with 3 tubes. Unfortunately, the black birds are all over the feeders and the other birds are only here when the bully birds move on. The Baltimore Orioles are liking the oranges but no traffic to the hummingbird feeder that I can see so far.

The back fence behind my garden is quite covered with forsythia, wild grape, yellow lilies, and weed-trees. This usually drives me crazy as I try to keep my side cut back to the fence, but I am aware that it offers privacy. The book, however, says a hedgerow is the first and most important feature to consider when making a yard friendly to birds. HA! I already HAVE that! And the two evergreens, which I considered cutting down, offer nesting and shelter.

Now I am looking at planting bird and butterfly friendly plants in that long garden, once all of the weeds are gone for good. The book will be handy for deciding just what to plant.

My granddaughter and I also ordered seeds for the annual flower garden, and vegetable garden from Renee's Garden Seeds and Park Seeds. I found a short full size flower zinnia at Park as suggested by a gardening friend. It is called Magellan. I also ordered Angel's Trumpet Ballerina Yellow. I hope they will flourish on my trellis.

Renee's had collections of seeds and I ordered the Children's collection and the Bird and Butterfly collection. Time will tell how well these do in my yard but I really am hopeful. The zinnias from Renee's have done really well for two years. Watch here and I will show the gardens after they start to come up.

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Gabby Faye
Michigan, United States
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