Not-so-small comfort

akebono(6/7)August 21, 2002

I was feeling very sorry for myself (and my garden) recently, and wondering if using a resource like water for ornamentals is just plain indulgent this year. I'm using very drop of recyclable water that I can, but we all know, it's a drop in the bucket when the earth itself is parched.

And then I saw a pair of goldfinches busily stripping my Green Envy zinnias of their seeds (quite a visual treat against a backdrop of blue rue!). I saw hummingbirds that visit throughout the day sipping from my Black and Blue salvia, and the fuchsia. I saw countless butterflies sampling from Verbena bonariensis, the zinnias, coneflowers, and Buddleia. A chipmunk drinking from one of the many dishes of water I keep amongst the plants. I had not fully grasped how much life my garden has been supporting in a very tough year for wildlife.

Nothing the garden has done all year can compare to what it is doing now--it is helping to sustain life itself. That keeps me going, too

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Jim_Michaels(6b, Chester Co.)


Here is a link that might be useful: Backyard wildlife habitat

    Bookmark   August 21, 2002 at 2:04PM
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hollyk(5A or 5B)

That's a really good point! I, too, thought that maybe we should only be watering the bushes and trees with recycled water, but your post reminded me that yesterday I saw a goldfinch in our backyard stripping a white zinnia of its flowers and seeds, and he also frequents the purple coneflowers. The bees need our flowers and have been going nuts over some huge Golden Glow plants.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2002 at 2:21PM
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I turned on my soaker hose last night and heard a commotion outside my bedroom window. When I looked out there were hummingbirds and gold finches fighting over a small area where the soaker hose was spraying a light spray into the air. All they were doing was flying through the spray. I keep a birdbath in the back yard filled with fresh water, so I guess this was just a treat for them.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2002 at 3:35PM
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This spring, even though the drought caused my fruit trees to either drop all their fruit, or have some rather odd-shaped fruit, I was so pleased to discover that the squirrels were having a great time, picking up, and eating, everything that they could, of the fruit! As I'd walk under a big tree, sometimes they would drop what was left of their fruit, and nearly bonk me on the head--too funny!
As I was becoming so discouraged with what I began to look at as the constant "chore" of hand-watering, which included the filling/refilling of my bird bath, I noticed that, if I let that bird bath go dry, the birds would use my dogs water dishes instead--so, I became far more diligent to keep that bath filled with clean water! I love to watch the birds take their baths, and stop for a drink. Also, even though I do not have very many flowers planted, as yet, in this yard(I do have roses, and Rose of Sharons, though, along with some Morning Glories), butterflies are attracted whenever the ground becomes wet around my young trees and young shrubs, and it makes me feel very good to know that the small run-over, of that moisture, can give those butterflies the drink they need. Not one drop that may be spilled, in this rather big yard, gets wasted either, since I have some very big trees that I can not water enough, and they can make use of it, as well as all the wildlife that come into my yard. Knowing that takes away all guilt that may come out of a spill, of water, around here:~)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2002 at 7:28PM
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