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The wild kingdom around my yard

May 3rd, 2014 at 11:12 am

Blue milkweed, ready to bloom.


Last night was the first mowing of the season. So that's why I was in the vicinity of one of my bluebird boxes. Sadly, as I walked by with the mower, I saw three small blue eggs at the base of the box. Each one of them had been intentionally pierced and then thrown out of the box by a house wren.

Breaks my heart. Bluebirds rarely get a chance to nest in the boxes, because the much more aggressive wrens will destroy their eggs, as described above. Then they will build their own nest in the box.

I cleaned out the box of the completely built nest of pine needles, picked it up out of the ground and have moved it to a location closer to where I can monitor it. Not that I can do much to prevent wrens from doing the same thing again. It just takes a few minutes for them to pierce bluebird eggs. It's really upsetting.

Last week I welcomed the return of hummingbirds. They were at the sugar water feeder I put up every spring. It is said hummingbirds faithfully return from Central America to the very same location up north, so I always want to put out the welcome mat when they get here. The males arrive first, ahead of the females. It is truly a miracle they make that journey of thousands of miles at all.

As I may have mentioned, I have begun the process of dismantling a large (roughly 10 x 20 feet) fenced in perennial garden on the north side of my house. I just don't have time to maintain it and when it gets overgrown, it becomes an eyesore.

I want to clear it out of valuable plants and then plant it in grass, which I can at least mow to keep tidy looking.

So last night I posted about a half dozen plants on Craig's List for sale. I've got about six different people coming today to buy them!

Everyone knows that not everything is dug up, and hopefully most know that the plants don't look like the pictures (taken in summer) I posted with the ad. I explained in great detail to a few, in case they are novice gardeners, that most plants are just now beginning to emerge from the ground, but when they are dormant is a good time to transplant.

I did dig up a number of plants and they don't look like much now in the pots. People may not want to buy them as i think so many are conditioned to expect gorgeous annuals in bloom, for instance. They may not be willing to take a bet on something just poking out of the soil, even with my assurances.

I'm selling everything cheaply to make it worth their while to come, so $5 for most plants and $10 for a tray of certain groundcovers. The pachysandra is free!

I have two different men interested in my gooseberry plants. One is taking 4 smaller plants and the other is willing to dig up 2 full size plants. Gooseberries are delicious in a pie but truth be told, I rarely picked mine. Mostly, the birds got them, just as they got the tiny cherries on my dwarf cherry trees and the blueberries and the strawberries. Unless you have large areas on which to grow these things,the casual home gardener shouldn't plan on getting a whole lot of fruit for the effort.

I spoke to Sergio Thursday about coming back today to continue dismantling the fence,and to dig up the sol in advance of sowing grass seed. His English is so bad, but he said he would call me back, I think, although I did not hear from him. In a way i feel i'll have my hands full with people coming throughout the day, and I'd have to be careful that Sergio didn't trample the plants still in the ground while doing his work. So in a way, it'd be better to dig up and sell the most valuable plants first, although things grow quickly around here and if I don't wrestle control of this plot quickly, it'll become totally overgrown and I won't want to go in there from fear of ticks. So time is of the essence.

It's going to be a very busy day.

3 Responses to “The wild kingdom around my yard”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I was so impressed that you could already have milkweed blooming. Ya fooled me! I understand there is pretty much a monarch butterfly emergency and all who can plant milkweed (or let grow the native ones) should do so. Milkweed is the one vining weed here that I can keep under control, so I might let more of them grow this year. Some always get away from me on the fence and in the shrubs anyway.

  2. PNW Mom Says:

    We have several hummingbirds that hang out in our backyard....we fed them through the one and only cold snap we had in early Feb. We were somewhat snowed in and DH kept changing the tubes because they would freeze so fast...we felt so bad for them! They made it through though, and continue to come around Smile

  3. PatientSaver Says:

    Hi, JOan. No, blue milkweed is not a true milkweed, but that IS its name.

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