This time of year, as the weather freezes and gardening outside stops, we begin to look inside to satisfy our need for growing plants. Poinsettias, cyclamen, and Christmas cactus are often the plants chosen for indoor color, but have you considered other options?
Planting a tree is an investment in the future, so it is worth your time to select carefully and plant properly. When you visit a nursery, search the web, or peruse a catalog, you will find that nursery stock is available in three forms, depending on how it has been grown or harvested: bare-root, balled and burlapped (B & B), or container-grown.
One of the best things you can do for the environment is to turn a patch of your lawn into a meadow garden. Meadow plants provide nectar for pollinators, seeds for migrating birds and overwintering sites for beneficial insects. They don’t need fertilizer or pesticides; their deep roots will readily soak up rainwater, preventing runoff and erosion. Meadow gardens also add four season interest to your landscape and summer long butterfly watching.
As the summer progresses, most gardens begin to lose their color. One solution is to add various types of asters to your landscape. Besides having mounds of billowing color from the asters, you can get clouds of butterflies in the early fall. Asters provide one of the few remaining nectar and pollen sources and are invaluable to our diminishing bee population. Moths and other beneficial insects add to the movement created around them. If you let them go to seed, birds will also join the crowd!
Well now that you are growing an herb garden, what will you do with all of its wonderful production? Even for those of us who regularly use the fresh herbs in season to prepare our meals, we still want to preserve some of each of them for winter use.
Finally, this spring, those unwelcome guests left our homes for their final fling – a picnic, a romantic interlude, a deposit of eggs, and then death. The question now looming is how to keep the next generation of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) from destroying the fruits of our garden labor and, like the bad penny that always turns up, again invading our homes this fall.