Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ornamental Trees

I love ornamental trees; I've planted them first thing every time I move. This particular tree is my absolute favorite. It's a double flowering pink weeping cherry ('pendula' prunus subhirtella).It reaches between 20-40 feet and bursts with lovely pink blossoms in the spring. If you like an orderly tree this is not the one for you. The branches shoot out of the top and go all crazy directions until they are heavy enough to fall into a weeping pattern. That's why I love it so much. It gives a real distinct look to an otherwise perfectly groomed yard.

As you see here, mine is wrapped securely to protect it from the rabbits (I've been told they are not a problem in my new area), but I am also worried about the deer. Nothing will stop them if they are hungry. I have some organic animal safe sprays that I will try. This tree was a birthday present so I want to protect it at all costs. Now it is a long wait until next spring to see if it will make it through the winter and show me its pink finery. If you haven't tried ornamental trees, get started! You'll love the beauty it adds to your yard.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs.

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Lonely Tulips

See this sad picture? This is all the previous owner left me for a garden --one little group of lonely tulips. The funny thing is that since my yard is built on sugar sand, this is the only area that has rocks and stones. I tried to plant a hosta in the same type of dirt along the driveway and almost needed a pick axe to dig a hole. I don't know why these stones were used as filler, but I can see it is going to be big trouble for me.
I've decided to plant a few shrubs and groundcover in this area so I won't have to dig in it on a regular basis. One time and that will be it.
Tomorrow I'll plant seeds rather than try to dig in grown petunias or marigolds. There won't be any color for a while but right now getting this house in order is the priority. I won't be picking flowers from my garden this year to use in bouquets as gifts, so I guess I'll have to get flowers delivered to make an occasion special. I know how much I love it when the doorbell rings and the florist is at my door. I'm sure my family and loved ones will feel the same. It always brightens my day to have some fresh cut flowers in a vase.
I don't even want to think of September yet, but this fall I'll plants some tulip bulbs; maybe next spring my tulips won't be so lonely!

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Goldfinch Seed Mix

Finch Seed Mix

1 lb. canary seed
1 lb. hemp seed
2 lb. thistle (niger) seed
1 lb. black-oil sunflower seed
1/2 lb. white millet
1/2 lb. red millet
1/2. lb. flaxseed
1/2 lb. chopped peanuts

Mix all ingredients together and store in a cool place in a container with a secure lid or in a brown paper bag.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Birdseed Recipes - Cardinal Seed Mix

I found a fabulous book with homemade recipes and seed mixes for our feathered friends. It has everything: suet, treats, fruit salads, breads, and garlands. I'd like to pass some of these on to you because if you're like me, you love to encourage birds to come to the garden. Don't forget that as well as great seed and treats, birds like a water feature, any type of water source will do, but if you are able to provide a fountain or bubbler, the sound of water really does the trick. Also keep the feeders and water source near a tree. Birds feel a little safer if they can find a quick exit and a hiding spot.

Cardinal Seed Mix: This recipe makes a huge amount. You can cut it down if you wish in equal parts.

10 lbs. black-oil sunflower seeds
10 lbs. hulled sunflower seeds
10 lbs. safflower seeds
5 lbs. unsalted pumpkin seeds
5 lbs. raisins
5 lbs. peanuts
5 lbs. cracked corn
Mix altogether and serve on a low table feeder or on the ground. Store seed mix in a cool place in a container with a secure lid.

Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Birds, birds, birds

I'm like a kid in a candy shop. I'm constantly surprised and amazed with every new day. I thought there were a lot of birds where I lived before but it was nothing like this. So far this spring I have already spotted this oriole on my birdbath and it is not even set up properly yet. Robins bathe in the fresh rainwater daily.
I overheard some women talking in a restaurant yesterday; they said the hummingbirds have returned so I quickly put out my feeders.

I've seen more rose-breasted grosbeak in a week than I did in years just one hour south of here. I'm thinking until my garden has something to offer, you may be seeing a lot of birds on this blog.

Gardeningwise, I'm thrilled to see that the previous owner was a gardener and there are some plants popping up. So far I can detect lots of irises, at least one hosta, a peony bush, and something that I am unfamiliar with at this stage. Whatever it is, it is going to be quite large. I'll add to the existing beds until I have a chance to move the borders to my liking. Until then, it's like Christmas morning with each new dawn.
Don't forget to visit An Herbal Bedfellow for healthy recipes made with herbs.