What Was the Most Unique Wildlife Encounter in Your Garden? (A Friday Free For All!)

This Friday I thought I'd try something new...an open post!  I'd like to hear what you think about the garden, gardening ideas, projects, or just your thoughts on various issues.  So here's what I'm going to do.  Every couple weeks I'll host a Friday Free for All Post where you can comment on a subject and share what you think about it.  It could a type of plant, a project idea, a method of planting, or any other gardening related subject.  If you feel so moved by the subject that you want to write a whole post on the matter feel free to take it back to your blog and tell us how you feel about it.  Just leave a link in the comments so we can read what you think! So without further ado let's get started with our first Friday Free for All Post! Today's Friday Free for…

Continue Reading

Just Feedin’ the Birds!

Want to do something nice for the birds?  Feed them!  Here's an easy way to do it! Get a grapefruit (any suitable citrus will work). Cut it in half. Eat the grapefruit. (Important step) Fill grapefruit halves with bird seed. Set grapefruit halves on a deck rail Enjoy watching the birds! Piece of cake - or rather a piece of fruit!

Continue Reading

Kingsnakes: A Garden’s Best Friend!

You may not believe me but snakes really can be a garden's (and gardener's) best friend!  Many people carry a fear of these creatures.  I can understand being afraid of poisonous snakes but the others are quite beneficial.  Yesterday while I was outside near my vegetable garden putting in some outdoor plant shelves (made from old wooden pallets) I moved a piece of plywood that was being used to smother some weeds.  Underneath the plywood I found a network of vole holes but I also found this black kingsnake hanging out just waiting for his next meal to come along!  I said to myself "that's pretty dang cool!" Why are snakes good for the garden?  Because they eat one of the most annoying rodents: voles.  The also eat other rodents but voles are quite destructive creatures.  They tunnel under the ground frequently using abandoned mole holes.  From underground voles nibble…

Continue Reading

Another Episode of Dealing with Deer

For while I thought the deer were gone.  Then this spring we saw the telltale signs of the whitetail deer.  The hoof prints, the nibbles and the um...other signs. Then came the sightings. A single doe came strolling through the backyard taking nibbles of various plants.  Fortunately most of the plants in our garden are deer resistant so the deer stayed away from those. Eventually she found the vegetable garden. In one evening most of the remaining spring greens were gone and a small sample of strawberry leaves was taken. This is where I became wise, or maybe just determined, and I found a solution - animal netting. I posted posts around the garden and hooked 7 foot mesh all around the garden. There were a few stretches I ran short of mesh and substituted strands of garden twine in between the posts to give the illusion of an obstacle.…

Continue Reading

Something is Wrong With My Front Garden Plan

My garden is made up of a series of island garden beds. Each one is "designed" (I say that very loosely) to create the pathways that appear in between the gardens. To me a pathway is what really makes garden. A good path let's you see everything there is to see, leads you down unexpected turns, and really enhances a garden. Plants are integral for a garden and structures are important too but you don't go anywhere without a pathway. But this post isn't really about pathways, it's about one garden bed in particular that I need help with. You see, there's just something wrong with it. Maybe it's the plantings, maybe it's the size and shape, or maybe it's something else entirely. In this bed I've brought lavender plants from my in-laws garden.  They were the result of the natural layering of several lavender plants. I also have several…

Continue Reading

Bunnies in the Garden

What do you do when cute little furry bunnies that eat your strawberries? Good question! I'm not sure I have the best answer and maybe you have some suggestions for this issue but over the weekend I found a solution that so far seems to have worked.  First let me share with you how I found bunnies in my garden. On Saturday I was out in the vegetable garden filling a few raised beds (including the Greenland Gardener bed I mentioned a few weeks ago - more on that later this week) and picked up the hose to water a few plants. I looked to the strawberry plants and though "they could use a drink" and began to spray at the base of the strawberry plants as best as I could when something ran out - the first little bunny! It was soaking wet from the hose but otherwise unharmed. …

Continue Reading

The Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)

This was a historic day. It was the first day I've ever seen a frog in my garden. I've seen a toad or two but never an actual frog! Amphibians are a good indicator of the heath of an environment. They are kind of like environmental canaries in a coal mine, if something is wrong they are one of the first animals to become affected. Hopefully that means that my efforts in organic garden techniques are helping the environment around our little piece of paradise. This little tree frog was hiding behind my rain gutter and popped out when I was checking the connection for my rain barrel. It's called a gray tree frog - a real imaginative name right? we could look at the binomial nomenclature and go with Hyla versicolor - I think I'll call just him a gray tree frog... According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency…

Continue Reading

Cedar Waxwings Near a Cedar Glade

Over Thanksgiving we spent some time in Mt. Juliet at my in-laws home. I always enjoy traipsing around the woods near their house just to explore. I did that often as a kid at my grandfather's house and I've always been fond of spending time in the great outdoors. Often I come home with rocks for my garden borders but I almost always can find a neat picture of some kind to share. The wooded area near their home is similar to the cedar glades that are prevalent in the region. Cedar glades usually consist of plants that can thrive in heavy limestone rock like cedar trees! Not far the east of their home is the Cedars of Lebanon State Park which is well known for its cedar glades. While exploring I managed to spot a small winged creature that I've only seen twice before. It was a cedar waxwing.…

Continue Reading

How I Protect Trees From Deer Rubbing Damage

In my second year with our garden I experienced the joys and wonders of living with deer. In the three and a half years since I've learned a lot about protecting plants from deer but I still suffer from their exploits frequently. Most notably this year the deer discovered my vegetable garden for the first time. Maybe you noticed the lack of vegetable garden posts in 2010? The combination of super heat in July and August, marauding deer, and the ever continuing dryness pretty much knocked it out by the end of July. (If this dryness ever ends I might actually get some greens going!) Needless to say the deer have been my nemesis. That first year in our garden I planted several trees. Mostly maples but also a Yoshino Cherry, a dogwood, and a purple leaf plum. That fall I experienced my first deer rubbing. Well I actually didn't…

Continue Reading
Close Menu