Yellow Brugmansia – Angel Trumpet

Yellow Brugmansia

Yellow Brugmansia at full bloom.

Do you have, or have you ever had, a Brugmansia? They are lovely, as you see here. Mine is a yellow one and this is a photo showing it in it’s full glory. Fabulous.


Yellow Brugmansia

Yellow Brugmansia with faded blooms.

As beautiful as the blooms are, and they are spectacular, they last only about 3-5 days. Seriously.

Yellow Brugmansia

Yellow Brugmansia bloom.

My plant is in a pot on the deck and I literally have to water it every day, 7 days a week. A friend of mine planted hers in the ground and only watered once a week. So far, she’s had only one bloom.

Yellow Brugmansia

Yellow Brugmansia flower

As lovely as this is, I just don’t think it’s worth all the time and effort for one week of flowers. I don’t mind watering my tomato plants daily because they fruit for months. The Brugmansia simply doesn’t bring me the same satisfaction. This may be my only year with this plant.

Your experience?

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Bird Feeders – My Most Recent Obsession

And I can’t seem to stop…

Bird Feeders - My Most Recent Obsession

Bird Feeders and Bath

Bird Feeders - My Most Recent Obsession

Where do they all come from?

Bird Feeders - My Most Recent Obsession

Happy Birds everywhere – including the trees and bushes!

Bird Feeders - My Most Recent Obsession

We suddenly have so many hummingbirds!

Bird Feeders - My Most Recent Obsession

Cardinals love this crescent shaped feeder.

If you don’t yet have feeders and/or a bird bath, I strongly suggest you get some. Hours and hours of fascination and fun!

Please, let me know your experience with birds and what else I should add.


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Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

I have the most wonderful birdhouse. I love it so much and was thrilled last Spring when a momma bird immediately adopted it as home for her upcoming little ones.

In only a matter of days, we heard the chirping of her baby hatchlings. I felt like a proud grandparent.

And then it happened —

About 3pm one beautiful, sunny afternoon I walked out our front door and was stopped by the most awful sounds – momma and daddy bird screaming hysterically. I had no idea birds could scream so.

But there, hanging out of my beautiful birdhouse was about 2.5 feet of snake swinging back and forth. I watched in horror as the rest of him slithered into the nest.

Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

It was literally three weeks before I could go back out that door. And quite some time before I could take down the birdhouse to clean it out. It was no longer my wonderful birdhouse, but my snake feeder. I did not want a snake feeder.

I know this is how nature works, but I don’t want it to work this way in my yard.

So I began researching how to protect future baby hatchlings – or no more birdhouse for me (definitely no snake feeder).

Low and behold, my garden teacher, Ellen Ashely, gave me the answer.


Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

It’s so easy, everyone should be using it. Simply slide a slinky over the post to your birdhouse and the snake can’t slither up. Not only is it easy, but barely detectable.

Safe birds, safe birdhouse, no more snake feeder.

Here you can see the slinky on my newest birdhouse as well  :)

Keep Snakes Out of Your Bird House!

Thanks, Ellen!


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The Best Soil You Never Have to Buy

The Best Soil You Never Have to Buy

It’s April. Time to cut back, pull the first of the weeds, rearrange, replant, dig and love every minute of finally being back outside after our very long winter.

So, today I was looking for great new soil for some pots, and guess where I found it? In last Fall’s leaf pile, of course!

The Best Soil You Never Have to Buy

Leaves from Fall 2013

Here’s the photo of one of my piles of leaves, all nicely mulched up. (Be sure to read my post, How (and why) to Use Your Leaves.)

The Best Soil You Never Have to Buy

5 months later – black gold

And here’s the photo when I stuck in the shovel.

Don’t waste time, money, and tons of effort bagging up leaves every Fall, only to turn around and spend time, money and effort buying soil for your gardening!

The Best Soil You Never Have to Buy

Next Fall, mulch up and keep those leaves in a back or side yard, or even pile them up in a garden area. The following Spring, turn the pile and you’ll find the Best Soil You Never Have to Buy!

Do you keep your leaves?

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Ecofriendly Greywater Saves You Money and Grows Your Garden!

Lets stop wasting all that wonderful water that runs back down our sinks and out our drains. Contact your local greywater system installers to learn how you can reduce the costs of watering your gardens. Greywater Action has a list of trained installers on its website.

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January is For the Birds!

Please, don’t forget them! When the water and ground are frozen, it can be hard for our feathery friends to find food and drink. Be sure to leave out seeds, nuts, berries, and water to protect these beautiful beings.

Happy January!

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How (and why) to Use Your Leaves

It’s Fall!!!

How (and why) to Use Your Leaves

And all that wonderful gold is falling from the trees, just as Mother Nature intended, to protect the ground and plantings from winter ice and to make amazing soil for Spring growth.

How (and why) to Use Your Leaves

I ask the yard crew to never remove a leaf from the property. We have 2 wooded acres meaning we have plenty of leaves! The mower/mulcher chops up the leaves and grass which is then dumped into areas on the side yard from where I disburse it to all of my garden areas. Mulching the leaves, rather than keeping them whole, allows them to break down much faster into soil.

How (and why) to Use Your Leaves

My plantings from the past season are well protected by this mulch and, in the Spring, I have tons of amazing black soil for new plantings. Black gold!

How (and why) to Use Your Leaves

Keeping and using your own leaves is quite the time and money saver. Why have someone haul all this natural beauty away only to pay for compost in the Spring? Be grateful for every single leaf that falls in your yard and let nature recycle her own!

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