Sunday, November 11, 2007


Here I am at the window, counting chickadees and nuthatches again. It must be winter! I count birds for the Cornell Project Feeder Watch program. It increases my knowledge of the birds that visit my feeders. I know now exactly how many of each species of bird comes through the winter. It's kind of fascinating to watch them. Counting them makes me so much more aware of whether I have a strange species, or if it's just my regular neighborhood flock.
It's a wonderful winter project for kids as well as everyone else. I have linked it above so you can go there if you are interested, and perhaps join in the fun. There is a nominal fee that helps defray costs for the University, but it is SO worth it!

Thursday, November 08, 2007


"Hi" all of you that are visiting from the "Birds and Blooms" magazine. I was invited to put my blog on the Birds & Blooms page at the beginning of the autumn, which I did right up until now. I hope I have generated some readers from that site. I also hope you'll feel free to bookmark and visit this page often.
During the winter I tend not to write too frequently. When I do it is often about the birds that visit my feeders. Occasionally, I DO have something to tell you about your garden. Things like winter pruning and the occasional reminder to spray your broadleaved evergreens with anti-desiccant. I will always put the Garden Chores for the month as close to the first day of that month as possible. As you can imagine, the winter reminders are not quite as labor intensive as the summer ones!
At any rate, WELCOME!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Well, it is finally arriving. I guess we couldn't put it off any longer. Winter! At least the kids didn't have to ski around the neighborhood for their Halloween Trick or Treats! I guess that's a good thing! At any rate, welcome to the next season and "good night garden"! We all need time to recoup and regenerate, even the garden. In the tropics, this doesn't happen and plants grow until they finally die of exhaustion, I guess. I know I would.
Catch up on the things you've forgotten to do out there. As soon as you have a relatively temperate day, spray that anti-desiccant; cover the shrubs with burlap, or lathe; fertilize the area where you have your bulbs; yank out the annuals-or cut them off at ground level leaving the roots to decompose; turn the compost one last time; start feeding the birds; dig a hole for your live Christmas tree and fill it with hay or something making it easy to remove so you can put that tree right into the ground before it dries out.
All of that sounds the November Chores in my last posting. Maybe you should just re-read that for a few more suggestions.
I have been enjoying the birds coming to the feeders. I have feeders strung on a wire extended between the garage and the house. It's up high enough that the bears can't get to it. Today the birds seem extra ravenous. Maybe it's just the weather. I find that when the weather is supposed to be bad...they seem to know and come to fill their tummies.
Bundle up and get a fire going in the fireplace. Got a good book to read? I do!

Friday, November 02, 2007



Now's the time to plant paperweight narcissus, hyacinths and amaryllis (indoors) for beautiful color and aroma on New Year's Day!

If you've had enough freezing days to render the ground hard,
begin to mulch roses and other shrubs, etc.

Putting wire guards on the bases of tree trunks will prevent mouse

Wrap plants in burlap for winter protection. Do NOT use plastic!
They can't breathe any better inside plastic than you can.

If you haven't fertilized your lawn or garden yet, now's the time!

Use anti-desiccant to prevent loss of water during the long winter if you haven't already.

It's a good idea to be sure your power equipment works properly. Now is the best time to take them to the shop for repairs and upkeep.

Wrap the trunks of smaller trees with plastic wrap, or wire mesh to protect them from rodents.

Add leaves and the last bits of cut grass to the compost.

Cover your compost heap or bin with plastic to keep the nutrients from being leached out from winter rain and snow.

Water your trees and shrubs until the ground freezes.

As you do that, check them for diseased foliage and remove it. Remember anything diseased should go into the garbage, NOT the compost.

If you have any left over bulbs, for goodness sake PLANT THEM NOW!!!

Are you going to have a live Christmas Tree? Dig the hole now, then cover the hole and the dirt you removed, so you can easily plant it when the time comes.