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Planning and Planting Your Wildlife Gardens
June 01, 2020

We flip calendar pages again this week.

Where does the time go?

Snickers can even make unkempt look cute.

Brandy is a curly mess.

Hopefully  the girls can get a haircut soon.

Also is a picture of Miss Penny sleeping in the dog bed (she does this on a regular basis), and Saturday evening's half moon.

The first of the month is always a good time for a thorough cleaning of your feeders and other birding features you may have.

It gets you in the habit of cleaning at least once a month.

Baths and other water features get dirty and slimy real quick this time of year too. 

Hummer feeders are different all together.

Keep your hummer feeders cleaned and supplied every 2 to 3 days as the weather heats up.

As more flowers come into bloom, I will back off on the ratio of the sugar water.

During May, I go 3 parts water to 1 part sugar.

This provides extra energy for hungry birds that made a long trip north.

I will go back to the standard solution of 4 parts water to 1 part sugar.

It's a good idea to go back to the hummer pages from time to time.

We live in a time of instant gratification.

Microwave ovens, and digital cameras.

Smart phones that will do everything for you, except tuck you in at night.

Some I know even want Instant yards and gardens.

You know, “I want it this way, and I want it now.”

I want it now, I don't care what the cost is.

Pay to have a landscape contractor to diagram everything.

Arrange for the plants he/she likes, and hire someone else to plant them.

Same with your lawns.

That takes so much fun out of gardening, don't you think?

Taking the time to plan and design the layout of you gardens.

Shopping for plants, shrubs and trees that you like.

Keeping favorite plants and family gifts.

Planting from seed and watching them grow.

Buying baby plants and nurturing them along.

Even when I can afford a larger tree or shrub, I will take the baby or cutting to root.

Possibly snag some seeds as I walk by, or buy a pack of seeds.

It's not that I'm cheap (I am).

It's because I enjoy watching things grow.

The  Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. ( Genesis 2:15)

Notice it says to work it at keep it (care for the garden).

(Fledged Robin appears to be napping.)

I like the challenge.

I can plant some seeds this year and have the same plant next year that I would've paid $8 to $10 for this year.

But. I plant the seeds, water, nurture, transplant and have several plants to enjoy or give away.

For one year I don't have an adult plant to enjoy (I may have a little nursery growing someplace).

You'll have blooms next year and the joy of knowing  "YOU DID IT".

All that for the price of a pack of seeds.

Some seed ideas are, Lupines, Columbines, Coreopsis and Rudbeckia.

I plant lupines and let the ones I have go to seed every year, because they are a short lived perennial and I like a nice patch of lupines.

Instead of buying all your annuals, you can plant some your self and save some seeds next fall for next spring.

(Male Cardinal, how colorful he is.)

Some other ways of doing it yourself and saving money.

Bare root plants are always less costly.

Yes, you get a smaller plant, but can you wait a year or two?

Get cuttings from friends and neighbors.

My dad was forever bringing home slips of a plant or a twig to root.

I'm sure he didn't always ask, but it worked for him :-)

Several cuttings root real easy in just moist soil.

Red twig dogwood, willows, and several others root this way.

You will need to practice with this some and learn what roots and what doesn't.

Again, there is that learning process.

Don't be afraid to ask experienced gardeners, or garden centers in your area.

When possible, I will assist you.

Most gardeners are more than willing to share information and plants if they have extras.

It's what true gardeners are more than willing to do.

Just ask.

Iris clumps need to be divided every couple of years.

Daisies need to be split.

I'm digging up some columbine later this week to give to the neighbor.

They re-seed quite prolifically and a nice patch is much more attractive than a single plant.

Not just for our eyes, but for hummers as well.

Now, if anyone has seeds from a red columbine (hint, hint)?

(Wild Geraniums in my yard.)

"Say, I really like your hollyhocks.

When they go to seed, could I have a pod or two"?

"If possible, can you save some cardinal runner seeds for me this fall?

I'll be happy to trade you this for some of that".

Gardeners do it all the time.

Boy, we are getting your garden prepared and so far it has cost you only a pack of seeds or two.

So, that leaves a few extra bucks for something special.

It could be a small tree you've had your eyes on or maybe some yard art.

I like yard art.

Maybe a bench to sit on so you can really enjoy your new gardens and the wildlife that is beginning to visit you.

Now that you are sitting in your garden, I just know you are relaxing some now.

Listen to that hand tuned windchime.

I do love a good windchime.

Maybe you even left the cell phone in the house.

Than again, it is your camera too.

Because wildlife gardens are more natural, we don't spend a ton on insecticides and herbicides.

The more wild your gardens, the more wildlife you will have.

By taking some time, you can build your gardens with passion and the knowledge of knowing you did it.

Gardening doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.

Baby trees can be had from the arbor day foundation or your county extension.

Sometimes you can get a certain tree by asking a farmer or stranger.

Just think of the legacy you are leaving behind.

Even if it is a single tree.

Pride and joy comes after frustration and mistakes.

Learning and doing is fun.

Well, it's time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the day.

God Bless.

“Remember that children, marriages,and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.”  

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

From God's word.

Pay attention, now.

"I am the vine; you are the branches.
Whoever abides in me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing".

John 15:5

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

A Blessed week to you .

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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