Gardening For the Birds and the Bees with Flowering Trees

Gardeners garden for many reasons.  Perhaps the most common reason is to get back to that part of us that belongs with nature.  We want to see the world around us come through our garden and provide for its positive growth.  How we do that can vary in thousands of ways but almost every method provides some sort of food source for nature and its creatures.  Recently I planted a few plants that will one day provide nutrition and shelter for some of nature's creatures. (The materials and plants in this post were provided as a part of Lowe's Creative Ideas!) When providing for nature's growth natives are a great place to start.  When you think of spring flowering native trees and my state (Tennessee) one of the first trees you should think of is the dogwood.  Dogwoods show their blooms (which are really bracts) every spring to the delight…

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Build a Mini-Hoop House to Get an Early Start on the Garden

This winter has been cold and nothing if not unpredictable. Here in Tennessee we're experiencing a warm day every now and then followed by extreme cold. Hopefully now that March has arrived and spring is close things will be shaping up very soon. With that in mind I put together a project that will help me to get a jump start on my vegetable planting this season: a mini-hoop house. I grow most of my vegetables from seed and a hoop house is an ideal way to thwart the cold and get those spring and summer vegetables started early.  Lowe's provided my materials for this project as part of their Creative Ideas program. A hoop-house is essentially a greenhouse. Typically a hoop house will cover a garden area to heat it up enough to extend the season.  Once warm temperatures arrive they can be taken down or covered with another…

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