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?
One of the beds in my front yard has snow drops, winter aconites, Siberian squill, crocuses and daffodils all in bloom. It’s unbelievably beautiful, but the reality is they shouldn’t all be blooming at the same time. To me, this early spring (or more accurately late winter) show is just another sign that our climate is truly changing, and it’s time to get serious about making some changes. To reduce my own carbon footprint this year, I’ve set eight goals for myself for the 2022 gardening season.
I watched three unsuspecting robins search my backyard for bugs this morning. Normally that would send a shiver of delight down my spine and pull me outdoors to get ready for spring planting. This morning all I wanted to do was warn them to be safe and to go back to wherever they came from.
Last fall I gave myself a gift of new flower beds. It took me weeks to dig up almost the entire backyard and haul in bag after bag of cotton burr compost. My vision was to wait until this spring and then fill my perfectly prepared beds with a whole new collection of native plants. I imagined myself designing a space that would nourish the native insects and reward me with blossoms from early spring until late fall. It was going to be absolutely perfect — a neighborhood showplace.
As usual, my plans didn’t quite work out the way I intended. Oh, the beds are ready and waiting to be planted. I’m still going to fill them with blooms from spring until fall. I may even manage to feed an insect or two. (hopefully beneficial ones) I just won’t be filling those beds with native plants this year. Something much more important is taking precedence over my dream. My grandkids need a huge flower garden of their own.
With the sun shining and the snow melting away, today is a great day to finish up our series on frogs and toads. Let’s talk about what you should – and shouldn’t – do to bring these amazing creatures to your yard.
This week's blog was supposed to be a How To about bringing frogs to your garden but the nonstop snow is making it hard to think about that. Maybe next week it will make sense again when the snow is gone and it’s 40 degrees outside. Right now I just want to curl up by the fireplace and read some of my favorite books, 2022 seed catalogs.
I found my three-year-old granddaughter standing by the window yesterday, sobbing her heart out. When I asked her what was wrong, she pointed a qivering finger at the pond and did that “hiccuppy” thing heartbroken children do. Eventually she sputtered out that the frogs in my pond were too cold and she wanted to bring them inside where it was warm. I managed to convince her that the frogs were just fine and that they needed to be in the pond, but the whole time there was a little voice in my head accusing me of blatantly lying to this tender-hearted child. The reality was that I had no earthly idea what frogs do during the winter – or if they were even still alive.