Sparrows have become the bane of my gardening existence. Not only to they mangle the tulip tree, they ruin the pea crop and take over the blue bird houses. I may be gaining the upper hand, though. Hanging strips of mylar (made from a cheapo space blanket) over the peas and topping the blue bird houses with a web of fishing line seem to work.
Just to *prove* both sparrow deterrents work, I sat on the deck for an extended period of time, observing the pea patches and the blue bird houses. Nary a sparrow at either. In fact, there were no birds at all at either. Now that I have foiled the sparrows, maybe some blue birds will actually take up residence.
While keeping an eye out for sparrows, I spotted a rose-breasted grosbeak - actually two - visiting the sunflower seed feeder. I think this is the first time I have seen this species in my yard. Almost makes up for the stupid sparrows.
This bird is supposed to favor orchards. My mini-orchard has eight trees (so far). Maybe that is enough to draw them in.
Today I had a disappointing visit from a local landscape company. My goal was to have them at least clear out the weeds and shit from the two shrub beds that line the backyard, and edge and mulch them. The rep claimed it would cost $2000 in labor alone, to do the job. And then, without constant vigilance on my part, within three weeks the weeds would pop through the mulch. Huh? They must not put down a barrier between soil and mulch. Newspaper works quite well for me. If my brain hadn't gotten stuck at the labor cost, my mouth might have asked about this.
After the rep left, I got a little pissed. This company has the reputation of being the best (if the priciest) here in town. And he did not know the difference between poison ivy and Virginia creeper, nor was he familiar with the Blackhaw Viburnum (which he wanted to prune - why? It has reached its maximum size.) So I took my anger out on the yard, sort of. I edged the hydrangea bed, mulched around the kitchen compost bin, and mulched (with stone) the deck (to discourage burrowing critters).
The rep was impressed with my stunted Serviceberry, but did not notice the rhubarb that ate New York. Or maybe he did not know it was rhubarb.
Can you say "PIE"?