Saturday, April 11, 2009

Gourds For Nesting Platforms

Last year we had a pair of Phoebes nesting on top of the upstairs window frame under the eaves. After a little reading, I discovered that you can purchase nesting platforms for birds such as Phoebes and Robins. As I was drilling the hole for this gourd birdhouse, it cracked and as I was about to throw it away I had an idea! I cut the hole out larger and decorated it like I do my other gourds. I've hung it under the eaves near my kitchen window and am hoping to attract the Phoebes - or perhaps a Robin.
I'm keeping my eye on it and will share some pics if I succeed. My biggest problem around the farm is the persistence of the sparrows. They try to nest in everything and I'm sure they'll think this is a handy place to build one of their messy nests.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Easy Grow Coneflowers

Growing a beautiful flower garden on the prairie can be a challenge at times, with the extreme temperatures, lots of wind, not to mention greedy pests and weeds that are ready to take over any place that is given extra water and care. Fortunately, if you look for them, there are many beautiful plants that are native to the prairie and really thrive in a garden.
One of my favorites is the purple coneflower. This hardy, beautiful plant can be a real standout in your garden. It can be grown nearly everywhere in the U.S. and reseeds itself and comes back year after year. Another great thing about these flowers is that they attract butterflies to your garden. If you leave the seed heads on in the winter, birds, such as goldfinches, will feed on them.
Coneflowers are becoming available in a nice range of colors which makes them even more desirable. A whole bed of them will be a nice spot of color in your landscape. I'm planning where I'm going to put some more of them this summer.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Spring Blizzards and Gardening On The Prairie

Seems like we always get this beautiful spring weather in March and you're just sure that winter is over and gardening time is just around the corner and then, bam!, you get hit with a spring blizzard! I'm at least thankful that my daffodils and other early spring flowers were had not actually bloomed yet. I think the buds will survive and I'll still enjoy those pretty flowers. It's the plants that I had bought and not planted (thankfully) yet that will be a pain to keep healthy. I had succombed to the temptation and bought some brocolli plants and early flowers and then hadn't had time to plant them yet. That's good, but now they will have to be watered daily and tended to until it finally thaws and then dries out enough that I can plant them.
I'm really not complaining as the moisture was needed and as I look at the green shoots poking out of the blanket of snow over my perennial gardens, I know that they will benefit from the melting snow and most of them will survive just fine. After all, I plant a lot of native prairie plants and they are tough and suited to this climate!
Maybe this spring snow isn't so bad after all. I think if I could garden all year long, I would miss out on the miracle of seeing the brown and dead landscape suddenly come alive with green shoots poppping up and flowers starting to bloom and brighten my days.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting Ready For Spring - Birdhouses

I'm really getting spring fever. Hubby and I went shopping today and started stocking up on garden seeds. Since it's below freezing and we got a little snow today, they'll have to stay on the shelf for a little while longer! One thing I can start doing is getting my birdhouses ready. There are some species (like bluebirds) that are actually starting to check out nesting sites.
I enjoy growing birdhouse gourds and turning them into unique birdhouses. I sell some and hang some around my gardens. Since I like color, they always add a bright spot and hopefully make a nice home for the wrens, bluebirds or other prairie birds. You can find some of my birdhouses listed in my Ebay store or my Etsy store.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Christmas Wonderland In Your Garden

We're about to have our first freeze tonight, but my flowers and garden are pretty well done. We always pick all the tomatoes right before the last freeze and put them down in the basement to finish ripening. We've actually had them last until Christmas several years.
Now it's time to turn my attention to decorating my yard and garden for the holidays. Outdoor Christmas decorations come in about every style you can imagine. I especially like the big Christmas Inflatables, but there are lots of lighted decorations, nativities and even solar lights to decorate your yard. Another great way to make your gardens look dressed up for the holidays is by using great holiday garden decor. Now is the time to start shopping and planning your holiday garden display.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Time to Dress Your Garden For Fall

We had some extremely hot days ending July and starting August. Flowers are starting to fade and the mums are getting ready to bloom. It's time to add some new elements to your garden to dress it up for fall. Dress Your Garden For Fall has some great tips for adding unique texture and color to your garden to keep it looking great right into winter.

I'm starting to think about planting some bulbs for those beautiful early spring flowers. There are some really gorgeous new tulips varieties and other bulbs that I think I need to get started shopping for. Next spring I'll really be glad I got that done!