The Benefits of a Bee Abode

It’s that time of year in New England when I can’t wait to get outside, but all of my garden chores are clean-up related (read: boring). So in between raking the oak leaves out of the crevices (my oak tree holds its leaves through most of the winter and then dumps them in the spring–it’s very annoying) and putting down new mulch, I’ve been looking for ways to spice up my garden fun. That mostly consists of browsing Pinterest endlessly, and trying to grow starter plants in a terrarium. But I also decided to finally buy a bee house!

So here’s the deal! Not all bees live in hives. There are many species of solitary bees (who are not aggressive) and are GREAT for your garden. Your garden will benefit from having more of these insects around–and you can help combat colony collapse–and the houses are so darn cute! Honestly, picture this little palace when there are tomato plants and nasturtium all around. The bee houses (also known as insect hotels) often play host to other beneficial insects, like ladybugs and lacewings. Frankly, you can’t afford NOT to have one. Continue reading

My June Garden 2014

I am waiting impatiently. I’ve gotten some strawberries, lettuce, spinach, and bok choi, but everything else is still tantalizingly small. Cucumbers are starting–and climbing like mad–while tiny squash start to make an appearance. I’ve got some small but nice green tomatoes, and the peas are starting to flower. I picked a single jalapeno, but the other peppers and eggplants are still elusive.

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This year I built a big trellis around one end of the garden to get as many of the vines up off the ground as possible. That’s what you see at the end.

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My May Garden 2014

I know…I know…You’ve been sitting at you computer, relentlessly hitting the reload button in hopes that I’ll start posting pictures from my garden. Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve been on a photo-taking spree. There isn’t a whole lot happening when it comes to the vegetable garden, but the flowers are really starting to shine. In some cases, I’m even getting blooms on plants that haven’t flowered before.

The lupines are starting to bloom. There’s a yellow one behind that wall of green. I don’t remember if they bloomed last year or not, but they certainly didn’t look like this.

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A Depressing Earth Day Tale

My conscience is heavy on this Earth Day. *Sigh.*

Last week I started noticing a pair of birds flying back and forth to the gutter above the window in my office–which has gutter guards on it. When I would go out into the yard I’d try and get a look, and eventually I caught the birds coming and going. Rain was in the forecast, so I decided to leave it, thinking a good rain would make the birds reconsider their choice. But either it didn’t rain hard enough, or the little guys started rebuilding. I put out a Facebook call for suggestions, and my friends told me rain and Darwinism would take care of it. Then my mother dropped by on Earth Day, and as we were standing outside, both birds left the nest so I decided to crawl up on the roof, remove the gutter guards and get a good look.  Continue reading