Today in the garden

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

What a blast we had working in the garden today! The humidity just could not “dampen” our spirit or progress. Weeding, mulching, installing a mason bee house (picture to come in a future post), and trellis-building were among our accomplishments.

Something we completed a week or so ago was prepping and painting all the old rusty sculptures and ornaments in the garden. These photos show the before & after look of one of the ornaments. It really pops with the red color, which we chose to attract pollinators. You’d think that they’re only attracted to flowers, but think about how hummingbirds can spot a feeder from a distance. It’s the color that tells them to come closer and check things out.   IMG_20140510_110202_57320140612_121934

Plus, which one makes YOUfeel happier? To “de-rust” the little critter, we used Naval Jelly. Readily available at the home-improvement stores, it’s pretty inexpensive. Just follow the label instructions and away goes the rust, leaving a paint-ready surface.  It will discolor copper, though, so it’s best used on iron ornaments.

We had a visitor today – Dennis Burnette of Carolina Butterfly Society stopped by to see how things are progressing and snap some photos for a future presentation.  One of the questions we asked Dennis was “How far will a monarch caterpillar crawl to find shelter when it’s time to make the chrysalis?” His answer surprised us – they may go 30-40 feet, which in our garden would mean they’d go to the dogwood or holly. They like a lot of cover for that part of their life cycle. So if your caterpillar disappears from your milkweed and you don’t see the chrysalis nearby, don’t worry! Just wait for the butterfly to emerge when the metamorphosis is complete.

20140612_095807 Dennis Burnette

Dennis, Janet, Mary, and Catherine discuss the garden’s progress, and next steps.

That’s all for today – come out and see our trellis in progress. The first of three is about 75% done.

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