Two Frogs In My Garden

Two frogs in my garden

Hiding in the rocky ledge

Eating the ants that stream past

Trying hard not to fall off the edge.

~e saunders


My dog loves to walk through my Hosta garden. I was taking pictures of the blooms and, thinking I had the perfect shot of a single flower, found a surprise: a piece of dog hair hanging from the flower. Enjoy the photo.  Below it is a retake sans hair. DSCN6808


My Hostas are growing well but I have a question that many of you may have an answer for: why are all of the flower stalks facing north? My husband and I do have a theory. The garden is on the northwest corner of our house surrounded by the house to the east and a covered/screened porch to the south. West and North is grass but there is a cream colored wall beyond the grass to the North. We think the flowers are pointing North to the wall because it is bright and the sunlight is reflecting off of it.  What do you think?

Hostas pointing North

Bird Feeder Gardening

Having flowers grow under your bird feeder adds to the excitement of summer and birdwatching.

I have a mix of sunflower and other seeds in my feeder which hangs next to a Hummingbird feeder. The seeds fall to the ground daily as birds visit and pull out what they want to eat. Some ground feeders, like Mourning Doves, walk the ground beneath my feeder and pick up what dropped.

Some years I have flowers sprouting from the dropped seeds. Others I don’t and I figured out that the mulch in my garden has made the difference.  The homes I lived in surrounded by pinestraw mulch had flower growth; birdfeeders surrounded with mulch other than pinestraw grew nothing. The seeds get caught in the web of pinestraw making it harder for ground feeding birds and squirrels to grab what dropped.  The pine straw allows the seeds a cover so they can germinate.

This year I’m using pine straw in my new house/new garden and I’ve got millet and sunflowers growing up the around the post of my dual shephard’s crook.  Visually appealing, it also provides a new food source for both wild and domestic animals.

My dog, a Lab, has a sensitive stomach. If she doesn’t get the opportunity to graze all day, she can end up needing some greens to settle her stomach. We try to keep her bowl from getting empty; usually 4 small meals a day. And, we try to keep pet grasses available in the yard in case we fail her needs indoors.  She usually goes for a variety of grasses but I recently found her chowing down on millet.

Wild birds will find the sunflowers a great source of food once they bloom out.

I now have just 3 sunflower plants that didn’t get eaten as small plants and each one has several flower heads growing on them. I’ll be tying the stalks to the shephard’s crook before long.

Sunflowers growing around a bird feeder

Sunflowers growing around a bird feeder