Sunday, January 16, 2011

Snow, Snow and More Snow!

Far be it from me to complain about a real New England's been much too long since we've had such a beast, but this one qualifies. December was bitter cold; the temperature seldom rose above freezing, and the past 3 weeks brought some 40" of snow. The path down the front walk is more like a tunnel, and forget about the the's completely disappeared.

I worry about the wild birds in such weather. So I've been scattering a rich mixture of black oil sunflower seeds, raisens, safflower seeds, etc on the front steps, since I can't actually reach the feeder itself. I filled the green hopper just before the latest snow salvo, and it'll last a few more days, at which point I'll have to strap on some snowshoes and attend to replenishing it.

The snow is so close to the hopper, in fact, that the squirrels have figured out how to grab their disproportionate share. Oh well, they're hungry too. We're regularly visited by juncos, cardinals, wrens, titmouse, chickadees, several types of woodpeckers, and sparrows, as well as the darn squirrels.

Today I trudged through waist-deep fluff out to the feeder and birdbath on the back deck to refill the tube and assure that the heater was keeping water available to my avian friends.

My hope is that we all are paying attention to the birds in this harsh winter. If we want birds in the garden come spring, they need our help now.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Total Truth about My Garden

(this never made it to the online Danbury News-Times last week, so I'll post it here)

22 Reasons My Garden Isn't Perfect

It's a New Year, and time to 'fess up. Cleanse the soul, and all that. So here goes...Despite what you may think and I may hope, mine is not a perfect garden. Some of the reasons are:

  1. I can't grow clematis to save my soul. I've tried repeatedly but no dice; they apparently don't like me or my soil. What the heck, pruning them properly always was confusing.

  2. I've never figured out exactly how to operate the fancy Black & Decker edger I bought six years ago. It now makes a very attractive wall ornament in my garden shed.

  3. I feel sorry for the tree seedlings that sprout in the flower beds, so I let them grow.

  4. From midsummer until first frost my backyard garden is overrun with pilea. Sure, it's easy to yank out, but do I? Nope, there's always something more pressing, such as sitting in the gazebo discussing the meaning of existence with the cat.

  5. The black-handled clippers are lost. I'm pretty sure I know in which garden they were last seen, but upon my life I can't find them. They'll probably turn up next spring, rusted shut.

  6. I own way too much coneflower, corydalis, black-eyed Susan, liriope and garlic chives. Would you like some?

  7. The blankety-blank lily beetle has me thinking forbidden thoughts about chemical controls.

  8. Though at my age I don't even buy green bananas, still I'm thinking about planting a black walnut tree.

  9. I'm all fumblethumbs with the fountain, and hopeless with the hand saw.

  10. I spend too much money on garden books, too much time on TV gardening shows, and too much effort extracting every last dandelion from my front yard.

  11. The clethra is outgunning the daylily with which it's supposed to nicely cohabitate.

  12. There's moss on the pavers, mulch on the driveway, and birdseed on the sidewalk. None of which makes my husband happy.

  13. My self-constructed rock walls tend to tumble, and my arbors need painting. The wooden fence is minus a rail, and the rain barrel leaks.

  14. My onions refuse to bulb, and my cauliflower won't head.

  15. I possess more gardening doodads than a kitchen junk drawer.

  16. There's crabgrass spotting the lawn, and ragged edges on my borders. (see #2, above)

  17. The hammock is rotting, and someone has severed the soaker hose in the Mailbox Garden. (guess who?)

  18. Piles of tattered garden catalogues threaten to topple onto the family room floor. (why DO I keep them?)

  19. My favorite shovel is long in the tooth; my Felco pruners are notched where they shouldn't be, and my hoe has lost its handle.

  20. Markers from long-deceased plants litter the living room.

  21. My garden hat will never again be pristine, my garden shoes are shabby, my gloves are shot full of holes (always the left hand. Why is that, when I'm right-handed?)

  22. The last time I cleaned the garden shed I found Amelia Earhart.

C'est la vie. I'm a gardener.