Showing posts with label gardening review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening review. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Birds Butterflies and Bees in the Garden, What you Need to Know

How to successfully attract birds, bees and butterflies to your garden and enjoy them all season long!

Everyone that I know is so tired of winter.  Once the clocks have moved ahead for Daylight Savings Time, all of us are just counting down the days until we see those first signs of spring.
I have not yet had the delight of my first Robin or Blue Birds.  I know though that they will be coming very shortly.  And I am ready to welcome them all with some special treats that I know they will love.
birds, butterflies and bees in the garden, attracting wildlife, garden birds
Monarch Butterfly and bee on Asters
                                          

Three Basics That Are Essential

If you want the birds, bees and butterflies to come to your yard, you need to provide some of the things they will want.  
Like any other living creature, these little marvels of nature are looking for shelter, food and water.  Those are the essentials for any living being that you would care for.  Garden visitors are no different in that regard.  The only other thing that they may be looking for, would be a safe place to nest.  Trees and bushes are great for that!


Flowers are food!

Bees and butterflies and yes even the birds are looking for flowers to feed their appetites.  Pollen laden plants are a bee's best friend.  Butterflies and bees like nectar laden flowers too.  Birds are more attracted to seed heads that will come later in the year.  But they will use petals, and leaves to line their nests.  


Attracting different kinds of birds.

If you set out bird houses, you will certainly get some feathered friends calling your yard their home too.  Feeders for finches and hummingbirds will almost guarantee their arrival at your doorstep.  Plant the right kinds of flowers and you will have an abundance of these lovely little creatures to watch and enjoy.

Butterflies, birds  and bees will enjoy a bird bath.  The birds will splash around cooling themselves off in the heat of the summer, while the butterflies and bees will also stop for a drink and a little rest.  Butterflies and bees can also make use of the sugar water that is in your hummingbird feeders, so don't be surprised to see them there too. 

Having a place that is rich in flowers and shrubs with a few trees for their safety will make all of these creatures very happy to call your home, their home too!

Picking the flowers and shrubs to enhance your garden!

If you really want the butterflies, bees and birds in your garden, here is a list of some of the best ones to plant.

  1. Butterfly bush, as the name indicates is a magnet for many different types of butterflies, but they are also a magnet for hummingbirds too!
  2. Sunflowers, their flat heads are wonderful landing pads for all garden critters.
  3. Coneflowers will attract bluebirds, bees, and butterflies as well.
  4. ServiceBerry Bushes will attract cardinals, robins, cedar waxwings and more.
  5. Phlox is another great plant to attract birds and butterflies.

If you enjoy having these critters in the garden with you, make their lives easier by planting lots of the flowers that they love.  The list above is just a small sample of what plants are great to encourage wildlife in the yard.  It is by no means a complete list.  For that I refer to my book produced by Birds and Blooms Magazine.  


Gardening for Birds, Butterflies and Bees!



You can get your own right here! It is a great resource book and one that you can come back to and reference for future garden projects or additions.

You might also like to take up photography when you see how beautiful it is to have these creatures in your garden.  Mary Beth (another writer on Review This) shows us what it's like to take pictures and how to do it too!  You can check out her article right here: Bluebird Facts and Photography

Having a natural flower filled garden will surely bring you and all the visitors to your garden a lot of joy and happiness.  The colors and scents, along with all the activity will inspire you to enjoy the beauties of nature.

butterflies in the garden, attracting butterflies into the garden, garden flowers
Swallowtail Butterfly
attracting bees into the garden, garden bees, garden flowers
Bee with sunflower






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Garden Cleanup and Planting Time Too! Let's Review How to Get This Done

Summer's Heat has given way to Autumn cooler temperatures, let's review ways to get your garden ready for the oncoming cold that is sure to happen.


Autumn is that wonderful time of year when the weather gets a little cooler and the days start to have a little bite in them.  Leaves are turning those beautiful shades of yellow, gold, orange, and red. Everywhere the eye goes, it's a myriad of beautiful colors to keep us all in Awe!  What a wonderful mystical, beautiful time of year.  The Maker's  paintbrush is never still and our picture changes daily.
Everyday,  I look out over my balcony and the trees are changing colors from one day to the next.  Yesterday the leaves were all green and today it seems that they are turning shades of gold, red, browns and oranges.  One day makes such a difference.


It's also time to get cracking on the Autumn garden chores! 


If you are not sure what to do with all those leaves,  give that link(Autumn garden chores) a quick review, your garden will love you for it.  It doesn't hurt to organize our chores for the best outcomes in our gardens. 


Cooler Days and changing colors are a shock to the system after all of summer's warm days.  Time moves on and these changes are a gardener's Alarm Clock, because the next thing is garden cleanup before the winds of winter come.


Don't fret!  Garden cleanup is easier than you think.  You just need the right tools and the right attitude and your job will be done lickety split!


Because Autumn is also the time for Halloween, we can do two things at once!  By using our leaves in funky Halloween decorator bags, we now have our glorious pumpkin display all done.  Or if you prefer you can also make crazy spiders and pumpkins to give all the kids a good chuckle.   Packing those bags will be child's play after raking them all together and then using our monster hands to stuff the bags. Now after all the festivities are over, don't throw all those beautiful leaves away. Use a chipper/grinder to make the world's easiest and best mulch for your garden beds. The extras can go into the composter along with the worms and everyone will be happy! You won't believe the work that those worms will do in the composter.  Even in the winter months, those worms are working away.  The beauty of a compost heap is that it will remain warm all winter long.  The worms will be happy and so will you when you see what they accomplish while you are inside staying toasty warm.

Autumn is also a great time to buy yourself a new pair of gloves, because I'm sure the ones you started out with in the spring have seen better days, and they just might be on sale at this time of year. You know you will always use them.



Once the gardens are all cleaned-up, it will be easy to see where to plant all the tulips and daffodils, crocus and snowbells, grape hyacinths and some irises too!  The time to do that is now!   Fall Bulbs are available in just about every garden store around.  If you want that gorgeous Spring Garden you do have to plant those bulbs in the fall.  Spring will be just bursting forth sooner than you think and those bulbs will be so happy to grow in your well mulched beds. It's a little bit of heaven in just a few short months and something to pin your hopes on while the cold winds blow. The Leaves you have mulched added under the bulbs will give those bulbs an extra boost of good compost right under their roots, so they will grow big and strong! You won't be disappointed. Good gardeners and great gardens all give so much credit to the mulch that is brought right down into the soil. Best of all, it's free fertilizer and no chemicals! All natural, Mother Nature will thank you and so will all your family when they are enjoying the fruits of your labor. Such a pretty sight, a well tended garden can bring a smile to you and everyone else too!

I hope you take the time to enjoy the changing of the seasons and preparing your gardens for the Spring of 2018!  In planting for the spring, you give everyone a reason to hope for the future and the brightness of your fabulous garden to come.
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All pictures are courtesy of Pixabay.  




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

5 Important Tips to Keep Orchids Happy All Year-A Review

Orchids have become one of the most popular gifts for many occasions!  Let's Review how to keep  these orchids happy and growing.

 

Introduction

Orchids at one time were very expensive plants to buy.  Mainly it was because they did not multiply easily.  Science has made great inroads into cloning plants especially the Phalaenopsis Orchids or Butterfly Orchids.

These once elusive plants are now available to the everyday gardener and home garden.  Orchids that used to carry price tags of thousands of dollars are now within everyone's reach.
review this orchid care and tips

As you can see from these examples of Phalaenopsis orchids, they vary in color and some have stripes or dots of colors.  Some are plain solid colors while others are variegated.  There are endless varieties of this type of orchid available and at reasonable prices too.  Orchids are no longer a plant for only the rich, they are the plant for everyone!

Care of your Orchids

There are 5 really important tips to keep your orchids happy and growing.  They are not rocket science, rather, they are the conditions that will make them prosper and thrive.

1.  Indirect Bright Light
This is possibly the most important aspect of caring for orchids.  They don't want to be in direct sun.  They don't grow that way in their native settings and they don't like it when you bring them to your home.  If you have a nice sunny south facing window, your orchids will love it there, but only if there is a light curtain or shade between them and the window.

2. Watering
Most people love to go around watering their plants and maybe even letting them sit in a small saucer of water.  For orchids this is a death sentence.  Orchids are symbiotic in nature, they cling to areas in other trees where branches "v" out.  Their roots hang down from the branches and are watered during the rains.  When the rains stop, the roots are no longer wet, but dry out rather quickly.  At home they are looking for the same treatment.  Water them only when they are dried out.  Every 7 to 10 days and then do not let them sit in a pool of water.  If water seeps out after they have been watered, remove all the water in the saucer.

3. Fertilizing Orchids
Use only fertilizers made for orchids.  There is a saying in the orchid community, when you feed your orchids, feed them weekly, weakly.  Orchids also do well with a marked change in temperatures during their growing season.  If you have nice hot summers, you can find a nice shady spot for your orchid and then leave it outdoors until the temperatures start to drop.  10 to 15 degrees in temperature drops helps orchids to push their new stems and blooms.

4.  Repotting
Most home gardeners don't like the look of the arial roots on orchids.  They just seem to want to stay out of the pot instead of in it.  Most of the time orchids look like they are trying to crawl out of their pots.  But and this is a big but, you should not repot them until you see a marked decline in the orchid bark and in between the plant flowering.  Never ever repot during a blooming period!

5.  Check your Orchids often
As part of growing orchids at home, you should check your orchids often.  They do happen to come down with some bugs that will impair their looks and could end up killing them.  The worst of these pests is scale.  Again it is easy to take care of if you are aware there is a problem.  A "Q-tip" dipped in rubbing alcohol will dislodge and kill scale insects.  You can watch this You Tube video to see how to do this!

If there was just one more tip that I could add in here, it would be to make sure your orchid is in a pot that has drainage.  There are specialty orchid pots available.  Some of these pots are very beautiful and have designs that make them a really nice focal point.  How the pot looks though, is not as important as the fact that it drains water away.

So there you have it!  5 Very Important Tips to keep your orchids happy and blooming for many years to come.



If you have never grown an orchid before, now is a great time to try it. The flowers are incredible and last for months. There is no other houseplant that will do that for you! Drop me a line if you'd like to know more.

*orchid pictures courtesy of Pixabay.com



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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