Three years ago we struggled with this question: Dog or Yard? Dog won; we rescued an 8 year old Cairn Terrier mix who has become my constant, and beloved, companion -- and who immediately began to destroy my yard. Since a decimated yard wasn't an option for me, I decided to follow my own advice -- and I can vouch for the fact that it worked! We have both yard AND dog, and we love both. If you missed it the first time, here is a reprint of that 2019 article. I hope it helps keep you and your dog happy!
It’s hot this week — really hot. And there isn’t a drop of rain in the forecast. After our long, relatively mild (and moist) spring, it seems summer has arrived with a vengeance. Right now, my garden still looks lush and healthy, but without the right care, it could soon become a dried out, depressing wasteland.
No matter where you live, understanding the ins and out of watering is an important piece in maintaining a gorgeous garden throughout the summer. Over the years (which have been filled with many painful “learning opportunities”), I have finally figured out that there is much more to watering than simply turning on a hose and pointing it at my plants. If you stop and think about it, how much water a plant needs at any given moment depends on multiple factors:
One of my favorite sights of summer is watching butterflies as they make their way through my gardens, stopping here and there to nibble at the nectar buffet in front of them. It can be absolutely mesmerizing., but there is so much more to enjoy. To add to my delight, in just a little while another, a different butterfly show will begin here in central Missouri. Butterfly eggs will begin to hatch and caterpillars will start munching away at my plants.
The other evening a friend and I were sitting on my deck having a happy hour and enjoying my gardens. The backyard is literally filled with flowers, many of them the new, must-haves touted in all the gardening magazines. (I grow them to see how they really stand up to our harsh, Midwest summers.) Taking in all the choices in all the different beds, she asked me which flower was my favorite. When I gave her my answer her expression said it all – Zinnia was not the right answer.
An article on Apple News caught my attention yesterday. It was full of ideas for designing a garden to keep snakes away. Ten years ago I would have devoured every word. Today I just sighed, thinking about all the folks who will follow through on the design suggestions and miss out on having a valuable garden partner — a resident snake!
The next two weeks are shaping up to be prime planting time here in the Midwest. They're promising us lots of sunlight, warm temperatures and just enough rain to get things going in the garden. While I will be spending lots of time with my grandkids planting their gardens, one of my own goals this spring is to rework my hummingbird garden.
Despite bouts of unseasonably cold weather and the never-ending cold rain, my favorite feisty birds, hummingbirds, have returned to my yard. Right now, my garden is in an in-between time – early bloomers are finishing up and summer ones haven’t started – so the birds are hungrily hovering at the feeders. Soon, they will expect more substance to their diet; they will want to feast on a buffet of flowers.
My six year old granddaughter wanted to have a serious conversation about the birds and the bees this past weekend. (To clarify, we are talking literal birds and bees here.) My budding entomologist/ornithologist was very curious because she couldn’t find any bugs to catch in her yard and her brand new bird feeder wasn’t always busy like mine. She just didn’t understand why. And more to the point for her, how could she get them to come to her yard?