The first hummingbirds have already been spotted in southern states; it’s time to hang out our feeders to invite the tiny avian powerhouses into your yard for another year. Hummingbirds aren’t just a pretty face in the garden, they play a vital part in pollination and they have a voracious appetite, and it’s not just for nectar. They also happen to eat tiny bugs like ants, aphids, mosquitoes, gnats, whiteflies, and small beetles (another reason to not use pesticide in your garden!) The bugs actually account for about a third of their diet. So, how can you attract more of these fabulous fliers? Hummers don’t have a sense of smell, so it’s all about practicality and pretty with them.
It happens every year right about this time. As winter comes to an end and the days get warmer and longer, the monarch butterflies begin to head north, looking for milkweed plants on which to lay their eggs before they die. As spring continues, the eggs will hatch, and eventually the caterpillars will metamorphose into the beautiful orange and black adults. These offspring will recolonize their parents’ original homes, and they’ll produce another generation of summer butterflies. Continue reading
Spring is just around the corner, so it’s time to dust off the gardening gloves and get ready to get a little dirty. Whether your garden is limited to indoor potted herbs, or you’ve got a full-scale garden with raised beds, growing something green is just good sense. It’s good for you, and good for the environment. As winter fades into spring, it’s time to freshen things up. Winter was a time for dreaming of garden plans and tending indoor plants, and spring will be full of planting and weeding and busy, busy garden chores. Take a moment to savor the quiet time between and catch up on a few often overlooked garden tasks.
You live in the city, or you’re in a suburban townhome with a postage-stamp yard. Or, maybe you’re an apartment dweller. Either way, you think you can’t compost without a big yard space. Start talking compost and we all conjure up images of rural yards with big bins, but lots of space isn’t necessary. You can compost with just a small balcony or tiny yard. If even that isn’t an option, there are a variety of indoor-composters available, or you could consider vermiposting (yes, worms). All you really need for composting is a container; there are a variety of commercially available and compact composters, but a sturdy trash can will do. Continue reading
In the middle of January, it’s hard to think about spring, but when it comes to gardening a little effort now will help prevent cracked pots, blight spread and withered plants when the weather turns warmer. Winter is a quiet time for gardens, and that’s especially true when it comes to container gardens. Keep your containers looking their best with a few simple tasks this winter. Continue reading