This lovely little groundhog may be one of God's precious creatures, but when he sets up residence near my garden, he loses his appeal.
As you might guess, I've been battling a groundhog, also known as a woodchuck or whistle pig, in my garden. This cute little rodent is happily chomping down on my peppers, leaving only the green stalk and tiny peppers. I've tried repelling him and considered the alternatives for ridding my garden of him for good. Today, I am borrowing a live trap with the hopes of trapping and relocating him. I'm seriously considering ordering one of my own so that I'll have it on hand to trap unwanted guests to my garden.
Each year when my red elderberries ripen, cedar waxwings flock to my backyard to gobble up the berries. For a few short days I enjoy the striking beauty of these birds, and then, they disappear as suddenly as they came.
This morning the blue jays are enjoying a feast and are reluctant to to invite the cedar waxwings to dine. I haven't noticed blue jays eating the elderberries in past years, but several robins often join in the feeding frenzy.
Within a day or two the birds will have plucked the bushes clean and moved on to new feeding grounds. Last year, I saw a lonely oriole who stopped to explore.
My chokecherry tree will soon offer up another feast for hungry birds. By fall, my row of sunflowers should produce enough seeds to support a healthy flock of birds.
If you enjoy inviting birds to your backyard, try planting shrubs and trees that offer them fruit and supplement their food with bird feeders. To learn more about types of bird feeders and the advantages of each visit my Choosing a Bird Feeder Page.
Not sure what seed to offer? Check my Choosing Birdseed for Your Feeder page. See the convenient chart at the bottom of the page for seed preferences for common birds.
Until next time - enjoy your birds & HAPPY GARDENING!
Hybrid Petunia Babies
You probably already know that saving seeds from hybrid plants is frowned upon in the gardening world. Because hybrid plants contain the genetics of two or more different varieties that have been carefully selected to improve color and size (or in the case of veggies, to improve flavor), their seeds typically will not reproduce true to the parent plant.
If you are wondering exactly what that means, take a look at the petunias in the photo above. There are two different plants in the planter. These petunias self-seeded from petunia plants I purchased at the greenhouse last year. The seedlings emerged in the fall and I brought them inside and grew them as houseplants during the winter.
As you can see the petunias blooms are not the same color. Although it doesn't look like it in this picture, the blooms are the same size and the plant growth is the same.
One plant produces deep rose petunias with a dark throat while the other produces a soft pink petunia with a white throat. The contrast between the two is sharper than it appears in these photos.
The combination of these two makes a stunning display, but I can't take the credit.
If you are hesitant to save and replant hybrid seeds, that's understandable. You never know what you will get and sometimes the seeds are sterile. However, if you enjoy surprises in your garden, go ahead and try planting seeds from your hybrid plants. You just may end up with stunning flowers you didn't anticipate.
Until Next Time . . . HAPPY GARDENING!
For more nature photography, check out my photography site.