The best things in life are free….

Willem hummingbird

...and you can give them to the birds and bees…

Full confession: I have been writing this blog for over a week now. Last week was one one those weeks where it was just one  surprise after another. Each time something happened, I added to the draft on my desk top and then thought “I should proofread this with fresh brains tomorrow morning”. Then something else happened, and I postponed yet again. Time has run out, and I am leaving for holidays tomorrow. So here you go.

(1) Awesome free pen. I got a free pen in the mail for subscribing to a magazine that I already get for free (through my newspaper). Yeah, that sounds moronic and when I tried to explain it to The Man he said “Okay, so we already get that magazine, but now we get two copies and we PAY for each issue?” But the pen arrived in the mail in a lovely box and it got my week off to a great start. So, okay, that felt free, but really wasn’t.

(2) Hummingbird interaction. All the windows on the west side of our house have crumpled pieces of foil taped to them to deter birds. We have tried almost everything (silhouettes of prey birds, reflective window stickers, live cat on the windowsill) and still birds hit the windows. Most of them recover after a few minutes and fly away, but it is heartbreaking when they don’t. This week, as my mom sat on the patio, she heard something hit the window behind her and bounce off her onto the patio. My son picked up the hummingbird and held it in his hand until it recovered and flew away.

Free seeds

(3) Free seeds. The seeds above came free with a bottle of wine! How cool is that? I have no idea when or if the seeds will come up, or what they will be, and I had to drink a bottle of wine to get those seeds. But, I planted them behind the solar panel (for my outdoor garden lights) and look forward to a surprise later in the summer.

(4) Free content curation. I was going to say “free advice” but that doesn’t sound very nice. The best thing about writing this blog is getting great feedback and information from other people. When one of my gardening friends read my blog about delphiniums, she sent some great web resources about “New Millennium Delphiniums”, which I think she grows in her garden. Thanks for sending garden girl! http://delphinium.co.nz/GrowingDelphiniumInUSAAndCanada.html http://www.bcliving.ca/garden/new-zealand-wonders

books

(5) Free books. One of my other garden friends was spring cleaning and gave me these great books. “Why grow that when you can grow this?” By Andrew Keys is awesome. Not only does it identify challenging plants, but also suggests lower maintenance alternatives, and it is funny. Andres Keys describes delphium as follows: “With its cerulean tower of flower, deliphinium entices all who aspire to the English cottage garden style. Alas,diva delph may be short-lived even if its demands for supplemental water and staking are met. It suffers in hot, humid climates and too often falls prey to pests and powdery mildew.” Instead he recommends Blue fortune’ anise hyssop, foothill penstemon, princess flower, and provides good photos descriptions and growing instructions for each. Thank you Mrs. M. I will read the bee book after vacation.

(6) Free lunch. And I got taken out for lunch by one of my garden girlfriends. She was telling me about a great company located here in Vancouver who dropped topsoil off at her house in a huge garden bag, so you don’t need to dot he tarp and plastic cover thing. http://www.mygardenbag.com / She is usually right about most things, so am going to check out this company next time I need a huge amount of soil or mulch.

(7) Bees are awesome. The  hive has been in place for over two weeks and the bees seem happy. The Saskatoon berry tree, which is enormous, started to bloom when they first arrived. Just today, the first petals started to sprinkle down like snow. I think I probably started with a larger number of bees than last year; most days at mid-day there are about 30 -50 bees around the entrance; last  year it was usually between 6 -12.

Okay, that is it for now. I will return in a few weeks. Adios mis amigos!

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About Chrystal

This blog is my online journal to keep track of what is going on in different parts of the garden, different times of the year.
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