Although today, Sunday – February 10, 2019 – may not show it, Spring IS coming! It’s time to start thinking about your flower beds, gardens, and MONARCH butterflies! It won’t be long now, and those beauties will be migrating North out of Mexico to begin their lifecycle of the next generation(s) and we want to be ready for them when they arrive!
So, what do you need to be planning toward? Where in your yard, or on your patio/deck, or even on your balcony (if you live in a multi-story apartment) do you want flowers, vegetables, and butterflies? You need to plan the space for your plantings. Whether it be in the ground, or in pots and containers, you can have it all!! You think you don’t have enough space? Believe it or not, you DO! Not every flower or vegetable has to be in/on the ground. They can actually be hung! Many garden centers have suitable containers for all types of growing needs – pots, raised bed supplies, even bags that you can hang up. Amazing isn’t it?? Once you figure out what you want to grow, next comes how you’re going to grow it. Grow it low, grow it high, it doesn’t matter – just grow it. Then, gather your materials. You will need a garden spot, pots or bags or both, potting soil (and trust me, there are different ones for flowers and vegetables), seeds or starters, sunshine, water and/or rain. Put it all together, and soon you will have a flowering oasis! Don’t have a “green thumb?” That’s okay, I didn’t either when I first started. You will get the hang of it!! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions! I’ll be happy to help you out!! See the next post for raising Monarchs!!
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing – they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent, his eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face, your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then together you and your special pet cross the Rainbow Bridge.
It is with great sadness that we had to let our beloved Cassie cross the Rainbow Bridge just a few short days ago. We are comforted by the knowledge that we will one day meet up with her again, where as the story above tells, she will be healthy and strong again. It is our hope as you read Rainbow Bridge that you, too, are comforted in your loss knowing that the time apart from your special pet will be brief even if you don’t realize it right now.
The holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s is behind us and we can look forward to the coming Spring! I had been wondering if we were ever going to get any snow, and now I can wonder no longer. Today the flurries began, and this weekend is supposed to be cold and snowy. We need the colder winter, and the snow to kill off any unwanted bugs and their eggs/larvae, as well as put into dormancy state the perennials that will bring beauty to our gardens the soil warms and the sun once again shines its hot face on those tender roots, stems and leaves. I love Spring!!
We’re glad you came back to visit our site and to see what’s new and find out the latest happenings in our world! Come back to visit often, you never know what exciting news awaits! May your new year be a prosperous, happy and healthy one!
I’m sorry that it has been so long since my last post, but this month came and is now gone before I realized it! A lot has happened in the yard and in the house, too.
Let me start with what a beautiful month it has been. The leaves have turned to beautiful color and now are falling at astronomical rates! Thankfully, I have places to put them (besides at the curb or in the middle of the back yard or even a leaf bag) which is over the butterfly garden, the milkweed plants around the perimeter of the yard, and the veggie garden. After winter’s snows it will be nice to have all of that free nutrition added to the soil of the beds for spring planting!
Kris and I and a friend of ours took a weekend and went to Logan, Ohio for a girls weekend/wine tasting. We stayed at a gorgeous pioneer cabin, moved from West Virginia and rebuilt on its current site. It was a great weekend. Towards the middle of the month, another friend of ours – moved in! He even
brought his dog – Boofus. We are still re-arranging furniture and rooms, so that he will have his own space. It’s kinda nice to have a live-in maintenance man. Just teasing you Shawn! LOL
Shawn had a beautiful pond at his previous residence that I hope he duplicates at our house sometime in the future. I can’t imagine a more peaceful spot in a yard where you get to hear the water trickling over the rocks, and watch the butterflies flitter amongst the flowers, and the birds singing in the trees! I’m
Hi everyone! While making coffee this morning I just happen to notice some movement at the squirrel bunkers. A little squirrel found his breakfast! Cute little guy/gal. I haven’t quite figured out how to tell the difference yet….LOL Guess I need to check under the tail???? Oh well….he or she is enjoying the food.
Hey Everyone, it’s been a lazy week with work schedule. I have managed to feed all the critters…they are really stuffing their bellies for the winter ahead!! The birds get fed every day, the squirrels every other day, and the other critters well….let’s just say that they are finding food, okay?
Something pretty funny did happen the other day, and that is my neighbor came over for a visit and scared a squirrel out of my potting soil bag. I’m sure there is something delicious buried in there. Let’s just hope it isn’t babies. They have a tendency to nest high in the trees, but if they can find a more private spot to nest, they will. Eeek!
Anyway, fall is here and I hope to get all of my outside work completed. I am truly hesitant about cutting back my moonvine. It is so pretty when it gets a chance to bloom in the evening, and it smells wonderful. But the blooms are getting a little touched by the cold weather. I cover them, but they must just like it warmer….sounds a bit like us, huh?
While most people may find squirrels irritating and a nuisance, we find them adorable and just as needy for food and nesting materials as the birds. So today, I spent a couple of hours taking down the squirrel bunkers, washing them, putting them back up then lovingly filling them with corn and nuts. I just figured with the chilling night temperatures, it was time to begin making sure the little guys had their food to start beefing up for winter. While I was at, I gave the birds their seed and suet. They need to get some “meat on their bones” as well.
Well folks, here is the final post on Monarchs for this season/year. Our last few butterflies that have been released should be heading south to Mexico to party and over winter (we hope). It’s a long flight, and hopefully our butterflies will catch those high windstreams to help move them along so they don’t have to flutter their wings the whole time. Whew! That would be so tiring!!
The good thing about raising Monarchs is that we are helping bring them back from the endangered list. By planting native milkweed and native nectar flowers, we initially attract them where the females can lay their eggs, then give them nectar to eat once they’ve emerged from their chrysalis to start the cycle again, or to give them necessary food for the long trip to Mexico. It is a beautiful thing to watch them grow from egg to butterfly, then to release them into the world, but they will only survive if we give them what they need!
They are pollinators as well as beautiful butterflies. Without pollinators, we don’t have food and without food – we die. So…..we hope that you will consider helping them, so that they can help us! It is a simple thing to do…just think about it.
We have a male that we released this afternoon, but he must have decided that he wasn’t ready for the trip, because he just hung out on the butterfly bush until dusk. I felt sorry for the little guy, so I brought him back in to spend the night with us. I will try again to get him to fly away in the morning when the sun is shining and its a little warmer.
Here in Ohio, cooling weather usually starts around the first part of October. We may have an extended warm period just before, but most of the time the night temperatures start dropping into the 40’s (maybe even cooler) about then. It isn’t long then, that the leaves start to change color, flowers begin to really fade and die, and the hustle and bustle of the squirrels gathering their winter snacks and nesting supplies begin. It is at this time that I put my gardens – flowering ones and veggie one – into hibernation. How do I do that, you ask?
First, I pull up the annuals that have stopped flowering and are turning yellow. They aren’t going to flower anymore so why keep them around? I shake off the dirt and throw the stems into my compost pile. Next, I am sure to cut back my perennials that have stopped blooming and may be looking kind of ugly – such as Irises, daylilies, foxgloves, roses, hosta’s, milkweed, trumpet vine, clematis, etc. – because it just makes the garden space neater and helps the plant grow those healthy root systems instead of wasting its energy trying to keep what’s above ground alive and well. Now that this part is done, I will wait until the leaves start to fall so that I can use them to put a nice blanket over and around my plants to protect them from the heaving that happens over the winter. Heaving is a killer on the plants!
In the veggie garden, I just make sure that I have pulled up all of the tomato plants, cucumber vines, pepper plants, etc and lay them on the garden space, and covered the whole space with straw; then will cover that with leaves when I have extra. All this does is provide extra material to decompose over the winter and provide extra nutrients to the soil that I will plant in in the spring. Goodnight, gardens! Sleep well!!