Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Tale of Two Birdhouses

I read somewhere that if sparrows keep taking over the bluebird house in your yard, locating a second one 5-15 feet away may solve this problem. The sparrows will live in one while the bluebirds take the other. Apparently, they don't mind being cross-species neighbors.

For rent or lease

So I did as suggested, but so far, no takers. From my home office, I have watched both male sparrows and male bluebirds lay claim to one or the other house, only to have the house rejected by the females. I'm guessing this happens with human beings as well.

Inside action this week included repotting the rosemary starts. I have had people tell me that rosemary is difficult to grow, but that has not been my experience. Yet.

Cups of rosemary

One group of insiders are now outside, hardening off and soon to be transplanted into the garden. I am not pleased with how spindly these onions are. I don't know what to do to fatten them up, either.

Catching some rays

Even though I keep seeing articles about not being fooled by the warmer-than-normal spring temperatures, that doesn't mean one can't start buying plants. Here is one Alberta spruce conica and two juniper chinensis, destined for the west side of the West Wing. These should top out at the right height and reach the right width and provide some protection from the winter winds. Also, drought tolerant.

New arrivals

The mint, catnip, lemon balm, and oregano survived the winter in their above ground container. Not that I was concerned - one look at the garden proper and it is apparent that these plants have many cousins nearby. Mint must be the easiest crop to raise.

Repurposed sink

The garlic looks great. Every bulb sprouted, although some varieties appear hardier than others. This is year three for growing garlic, and I think the square foot gardening method will be a success with this crop.

Garlic as high as a stuffed elephant's eye

I was afraid I would have to start watering the garlic - already! - but fortunately we received a good inch of rain last week. Time for another inch, though. I really hope it is not going to be another dry summer.

First significant rainfall

I mowed for the first time this year last Sunday. Since I used the mower so little last year, I decided not to have it serviced. Thank goodness it started on the fourth pull. I am still wavering over whether to weed 'n feed this year. There are new ecolawn products out, grasses that grow slowly and require less mowing. But they are incredibly expensive, plus they require sod removal. Ugh. Maybe after I retire.

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