Monday, June 2, 2014

Gardening and Birding Spring 2014


Dear Jeni and Mary,
A nice sunset in May.
Jim and I have been working hard in the garden.  This is what we came home to in late April. The two raised beds were the only fairly clean spots. I always leave the trash in the garden because the birds can use it for food and shelter during the winter.
Garden on May 2nd 2014.
In the spring I love to watch the Orioles stripping the milkweed stalks for nesting materials.  Only milkweed as far as I can tell.  Luckily I usually have plenty of milkweed.
A female Baltimore Oriole with some of Alice M. Johnson's fur.
I also keep a stash of milkweed silk and cat fur for nesting material.  It is very popular.  This year I added a package of nesting cotton bought from Fleet farm on the recommendation of birder and photographer Sharon Watson.  
Could be an Eastern Wood-Pewee or a Least Flycatcher.
The tail is notched so I am leaning towards the Pewee.
She took the nesting cotton.
One morning as I was looking out of the upstairs window 'with a view' I saw 4 different birds getting nesting material.  The Oriole wanted milkweed floss,  The Yellow Warbler wanted the cotton.  The Catbird took the fur from Alice M. Johnson and the Robin seemed to prefer small sticks.  The garden provided quite a few of those.

My plan this spring was to add two more raised beds.  It was hard to decide where as the west side of the garden does get afternoon shade from the huge boxelder tree.  So only one bed is on the west side and it is hopefully far enough north to stop it being shaded too much.
The raised beds in place with mounds of dirt beside them.
Taken late one evening.
Our neighbor Joel Brandsted came over one day and helped Jim move the beds, from the quonset where we assembled them, to the garden.  I couldn't lift them.  The beds are 4 feet wide and 8 feet long and 14 inches tall and that lumber is heavy!  One 2x6 and one 2x8 tall on the sides.
Starting to put the dirt in the east bed.
We strain it through hardware cloth to remove the quack grass.
The east bed is finished and we are ready to work on the west one.
We finished up both beds on the same day.  Whew!

This is the way the garden looks today...

Garden 6/2/14
Hugs,
Nancy


3 comments:

dawson said...

Your garden looks great!

Mary Drew said...

Oh, your garden looks so great! I have a picture of mine and I will post soon so you can see my amateur garden spot.

Nancy said...

The last two years both Jim and I have been working in the garden. When Jim was farming he never had time and then I had my transplant and was not allowed to garden. Then I was at the parents house for two summers. What a difference it makes with us both able to work on it. I have been enjoying it. So far only a few mosquitoes.