|This variety of Horse Mint - Monarda - clumps rather than taking over. I tried the red variety - once - and buried it (I hope).|
Today's temperature will reach the 60s, so I am having fun thinking about Spring.
Some orange string is resting on the main Crepe Myrtle bush. When the birds snatch that for a nest, I will start laying out twine pieces in the front and back yards. Last year I put a lot of extra twine pieces out - and they were gone the next day.
The Starlings are mobbing the suet and bird baths, so I am keeping both supplied. Cardinals, Finches, Woodpeckers, and other birds are crowding the feeder, which is fun to watch. They often rest on the six foot wide bird swing. With supports on either end, the swing bounces around like the branches of the Butterfly Bush, where they gather.
The only seeds I will buy are Borage, which seed themselves and attract beneficial insects. Borage will bloom often, earning its nickname - Bee Bread.
Attempts are growing food have met with approval from the squirrel and rabbit communities. The squirrels eliminate sunflowers before they get started, and the rabbits chew new plants to oblivion.
The Butterfly Garden is the sunniest location of all, so I am adding some Butterfly Weed and probably a bunch of Coreopsis. I was impressed with two Coreopsis jungles over at Almost Eden. Those two areas were always alive with butterflies and bees.
One of my thick gardening books has a section about butterfly plants, so I am going to look that over - when I find it.
Mints that behave are great plants. I have started Cat Mint (not Catnip), and Monarda (Horse Mint) and Mountain Mint. The clumping varieties stay in bloom and attract pollinators, which help patrol the roses.
Hosta Garden - Pine needles cover one garden, which previously fed squirrels and grew Poison Hemlock, both unintentional. Some Hostas have grown there already, and more will be added. Their blooms attract Hummingbirds.
The Wild Garden already has some Willow and Butterfly Bushes, Blackberry canes, and lush Pokeweed. We gave the area another layer of autumn leaves. Last year the initial cover of cardboard and leaves worked out well and produced an area almost weed-free and pleasant to walk on. The grass turned to compost.
The stump of a dead tree is the base for the Honeysuckle Vine, which should fulfill its promise of rampant growth in the Wild Garden, feeding bees and butterflies.
I would covet the broad expanse of Almost Eden - nearby - but I would need a tractor to mow the pasture, many more hours of labor to keep up with the most basic chores.
We can sit on our front porch and view the largest rose garden around, so many blooming that we cannot quite keep up with sharing the roses. No one could ask for a better place to enjoy spring and summer.
| Blueberries grow on the edge of the Hosta Garden.|
Other berries growing - and enjoyed by birds and squirrels are -
Gooseberries, Wild Strawberries, Blackberries, Beautyberries,
Pokeberries, and Raspberries.