Sunday, July 13, 2008

Kinky Bugs!

I took a picture of a pretty flower in my garden:

Afterwards when I was looking at it on my computer, I noticed a funny looking bug on the flower, so I zoomed in to get a better look. No wonder it looked funny!!! I can't say I have seen a menage a trois with bugs before:

Hummingbird Garden

Obviously the more room you have for flowers and plants, the better your chances for attracting hummingbirds and birds to your garden. But just because you might only have a small yard doesn't mean you can't do anything. Here's a small brick planter we built in the easement between our sidewalk and the street. It's about 4' across (give or take). I've planted it with daylilies and annual plants (this year Salvia Lady in Red and Cleome - spider flower). These plants provide nectar for the hummingbirds, as well as spiders (did you know hummingbirds use spider webs to build their nests???) and insects (hummingbirds eat lots of insects!). Later in the summer and fall those plants that I don't deadhead will provide seeds for lots of other birds.

Last year the hummingbirds visited this area twice daily, like clockwork. Work with what you have!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Got Milkweed???

Milkweed is a vastly undervalued plant in the landscape. People just think it is a weed (perhaps because of its common name...). In fact, though, this prairie native has beautiful flowers and can be quite statuesque. Most important though, it belongs to the ONLY host family of plants for monarch caterpillars. A good number of pollinators spend time on the milkweed (which probably also scares people off, but shouldn't!).

Look at this gorgeous flower!!! Can't you find room for a few milkweed plants in your garden???