A nest waiting for Robins

We still have a lot of snow, but it’s almost mid-March, and thankfully it’s starting to melt. 🙂

With the glorious weather we’re experiencing, I thought I’d snap a few photos of a nest a pair of Robins built last year.

It’s in the hydrangea bush along our front porch, and once the foliage grows, you can’t even tell the nest or the robins are there, except when they fly back and forth with food for their babies.

I do hope when the Robins return, which should be in a few weeks depending on the weather, they’ll reclaim the nest and take up residence so I can enjoy watching them once again.

 

An Owl on the prowl – Bird watching on #WildlifeWednesday

We were lucky to see this magnificent Barred Owl, yesterday.

It was sitting on the fence, keeping a keen eye on several Ravens, Crows, and Blue Jays who began to gather in the tree above. They were all squawking furiously at him!🦉

Apparently, Corvids don’t like Owls very much, and after witnessing this, I imagine the feeling is mutual.

It’s lucky for me they don’t like one another!

If they weren’t squawking at the owl, I wouldn’t have known it was there. 🙂

Barred Owl

 

Won’t you #bee mine? Vintage Valentine’s Day kitsch :)

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14.

Originating as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus, Valentine’s Day is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and romantic love in many regions around the world.

According to Jack B. Oruch, the first recorded association of Valentine’s Day with romantic love is in Parlement of Foules (1382) by Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote:

“For this was on seynt Volantynys day, Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese his make”.

Which means, “For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every bird cometh there to choose his mate.” – Very sweet!

In light of all this lovey stuff, and as a person who looks for and enjoys life’s absurdities, Valentine’s Day ranks pretty high on that list, especially if you take into account some of the vintage cards out there. And, with a message to suit every kind of lover, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favourites that all include bees.

Sure, maybe I’m not one of the last of the great romantics, but life would be pretty boring if we couldn’t laugh at ourselves and our basic human conditioning from time to time.

This one is vaguely threatening!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Flowering Friday – thoughts on companion plants

                               Hosta & Astilbe love shade

A garden is the perfect companion for us, just as certain plants are for each other. 🙂

Some of my favourites include:

  • Basil & Tomatoes
  • Corn, Beans, & Squash
  • Leeks & Carrots
  • Borage & Tomatoes
  • Dill & Lettuce
  • Flax & Potatoes
  • Lavender & Thyme
  • Oregano & Peppers
  • Wormwood & Sedum
  • Lemon balm & bee balm
  • Hosta & Astilbe (see photo)

Wormwood & Sedum

What are some of your favourite flower, vegetable, or herbal combinations?

Happy Friday, everyone!

 

 

Baptisia – A blue flowered beauty for any garden!

Baptisia, also known as false indigo, is a genus in the legume family, Fabaceae.

This herbaceous flowering perennial offers pea-like flowers that once pollinated, produce pea-like seed pods.

The bees love these flowers, which means food for them, and in turn, allows me to collect the seeds and sow them all around the garden.

Native to woodlands in eastern North America, the species most commonly cultivated is called Baptisia australis, which is the one shown in my photo.

Baptisia species are food plants for the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the lovely Jaguar Flower moth, Schinia jaguarina.

Baptisia grows to 3 feet tall and form wide clumps that might need some support when they’re heavily laden with seed heads.

They’ll really thrive in full sun, but do well with some shade, too. Once established, they’re quite drought tolerant, and, it’s best to leave them alone. The deep roots of this plant do not appreciate being moved.

I love Baptisia, not just because its flowers are a bee magnet, but because deer won’t eat them, and because they offer a real true blue flower in the garden.

In the garden, they look great combined with any other colour nature offers, but I love them paired with purple coneflower, clumps of lavender, tall white phlox, purple liatris, and big Rudbeckias.

Along with blue, Baptisia also offers gardeners white or yellow flowers. I’ll be on the lookout for those this coming year!

Just a note on toxicity, apparently the leaves are somewhat toxic, (hence the deer not eating them), and I think the seeds are too, so though they’re related to the Pea family, they’re definitely not edible. Don’t eat them!

Thanks for visiting, and Happy Gardening!