Sunday, December 31, 2023

Goals for 2024

It's a little embarrassing to sift through old blog postings and see how many "resolutions" I failed to stick to. At least, my plans for 2022 panned out - redoing the landscaping - and I have stuck to eliminating invasives in the yard (although they keep trying to stage a comeback). Some goals have been abandoned because, frankly, they are too much work. There are a few things I would like to accomplish this year, though.

One disappointment in planting natives (or at least, the natives I now have) is they are not very showy. I think the simplest thing to do is to fix that with annuals, specifically zinnias, at least in the front yard.

Once upon a time, the "meadow" was a milkweed forest. I whacked that, thinking I would transplant perennials from other parts of the yard there. Now I am inclined to revert that area to milkweed. Hopefully, I will see more monarchs then.

I've attempted to grow shrubs and vines in containers, with minimal success. Two small butterfly bushes and a Clematis Paniculata are all that I have left, and next summer I plan to transplant them into the ground. I think they will be much happier, which will make me happier.

Three is a charming number, so I think I will stop there.
  1. Plant zinnias in the beds in the front yard
  2. Recreate the milkweed forest
  3. Transplant container perennials into the ground

There has not been a lot of bird activity in the backyard, but yesterday this hawk was pecking at something in the driveway. Worms?

And on today's dog walk, a heron made an appearance near the neighborhood pond. I couldn't get closer because, well, the dog.

Here's wishing you a Happy New Year. May all your gardening dreams come true!

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Something new - floating farms

Locally, there is a big hoo-ha about someone wanting to create yet another "party boat" business on one of the three rivers that run through our fair city. Wouldn't it be amazing if our local people-in-charge would expand their thinking to include something like, say, floating farms?

The local paper ran this article about floating farms. What a unique idea! Each neighborhood along the water could have its own mini-farm market, geared for their culture and tastes. That would be forward thinking, instead of the same-old-same-old.

In other local news, the paper's gardening columnist wrote about how difficult it is to grow Norfolk pine (which isn't really a pine). I was a little surprised, because while mine doesn't always look its best, it does pretty well.

Otherwise, not much happening here. The grass is still rather green, but at least it is not growing. More birdfeeders are out - safflower and a "wreath" of various avian delectibles. While I haven't done as much backyard birdwatching as in the past, today I spotted a black capped chickadee and a downy woodpecker. Oh, and murmurations of starlings - beautiful but GAH!

Sunday, December 10, 2023

Another lesson learned

If you are going to shop for xmas decorations, it is best to do that by Thanksgiving. Otherwise, everything will be picked over. Ditto presents.

Hand-me-ups from my daughter

My daughter is a bath and kitchen designer, and she is also picking up how-to's along the way. This weekend she replaced the faucet on my utility sink. Quite the Handy Ma'am! And it involved only one trip to the hardware store. (I looked at a YT video on how to do this and decided it involved too much crouching under the sink.)

Ooh - shiny!

This past week, some of the birdfeeders went up: whole peanuts, peanut splits, sunflower seeds, millet. There hasn't been much avian activity yet, as the weather has been rather mild (in the 50's and 60's). I have seen both blue jays and bluebirds, though. And sparrows.

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Lesson learned

Today - cold, windy, and rainy - seemed like a good day to sanitize the bird feeders. Using the utility sink, I worked on the smaller ones, cleaning them and spraying them with a 10% bleach solution before rinsing them off. That was fine. But the big one I use for sunflower seeds was too large for the sink and too heavy to manipulate (my glasses nearly broke when the hinged lid fell and hit me in the face) and a real mess. I've already disconnected the outside hoses, but I'm going to reattach one and finish bird feeder cleaning outside. Next year, I promise to do this task earlier and outdoors.

The problem with the heated bird bath was the GFC outlet. It had tripped, but I kept trying to reset it wrong. Now that is fixed. I didn't want to have to buy a new birdbath, as they cost about twice what I paid for this one.

Having a heated birdbath seems moot this week, as temps promise to be in the 50's. That means the ground won't stay frozen and I will have dog paw prints everywhere. Who do I complain to?!?