I was turning our compost bin every so often until one day I saw a tiny nasturtium growing from the base at the back. I tried to see if I could take it out of the compost bin but the first one I tried snapped off so I decided to leave the compost bin alone and see what would happen.
I did continue to put new yard waste materials in the bin but just didn’t turn it over.
Now the nasturtiums have grown to half the size of the compost bin and have lots of orange blossoms continually. A most enjoyable find and I’ve been enjoying them every day since they started growing.
I will turn the compost bin in the fall when the nasturtiums are done and before the bin freezes. So we wait a bit longer for the compost. The view was worth it.
Other Nasturtiums In Our Yard
The nasturtiums growing from the compost bin is a much bigger grouping than any of the others in our yard but the others have just as much beauty in each blossom. Like this yellow nasturtium that appeared out of an entire row of red ones.
You can see in the image below we have a sunflower looking out for our nasturtiums on that raised bed. They are all red except for that one single blossom.
This pretty yellow flower on the left looks like some one put a dab of strawberry jam in the center of each one is called "Plains Coreopsis" or "tickseed".
I learned this from my online friend from the south Grant Meyers on Google+ after I put a picture of the flower on Google+ and asking for help with the name.
This is my first year with Plains Coreopsis flowers as I started my first hugelkultur bed here in New Brunswick Canada and sowed it with lots of wildflowers. They are common in Canada as well as in the U.S. and Mexico but most plentiful on the Great Plains.
The Coreopsis Tinctoria, Plains Coreopsis, is just one of the many flowers I have growing on my hugelkultur but they will each have their own post. I’ll probably do this during the winter when I don’t do a whole lot of other things. Learn more at Plains Coreopsis Wikipedia.
Flowers to Make A Butterfly Garden
I started my hugelkultur bed so I could plant wildflowers and attract butterflies and maybe even some hummingbirds. I also started this right outside my home office window so I would be able to enjoy them all the more although now I don’t get as much work done as I probably could if they weren’t there. Ohhh the sacrifices we make.
The window boxes Jenny uses for her Petunias got hit pretty hard the last rain we had, well down pour would be a better choice of words.
Anyways it rained so hard that they were flooded and even dirt was washed out of the boxes causing a couple of the petunias to die so we decided to go to the Co-op Country store which is about a 15 minute walk from our house.
There was only one pot of petunias left, the Dream Midnights that should look good between each petunia or even staying in the pot would be nice as it’s a pink ceramic pot and looks very pretty with purple petunias.
Didn’t Even See The Petunias Until We Left
The pot with the Dream Midnight petunias was behind the door we came out when we entered the nursery area and is why we didn’t see them at first. I’m glad we didn’t see it because we may have just bought them and left.
We decided to look around and see what else might be nice to have in our backyard.
I saw the plant on the right. It was growing around the base of a concrete patio table but there were none of them left in pots. Would love to have brought this home with me.
Succulents: Sedum Pachyclados
A table marked $1.00 certainly got our attention. It was covered with little potted plants that would look great in our yard but if we got too many we wouldn’t be able to carry them and would need a cab. Well that would kind of blow any deal we were getting to we held back and just got a few plants.
The first two plants we bought were succulents called Sedum Pachyclados and would look great sticking out of an old pair of our son’s sneakers. Maybe on that old bar stool with the back rest missing.
I never saw succulents before going to Florida for a vacation and to visit some old friends. Now every time I see them in our yard I’ll think of Florida and friends.
Bronze Beauty Bugleweed
I really like plants with dark leaves like this bugleweed plant and even though the flowers are kind of tiny it still rocks and makes great ground cover, so we bought two of these as well.
Bronze Beauty Bugleweed
Jenny and I both laughed at the name, Bugleweed, but then again lots of plants have strange names and they are now in our yard waiting to be planted.
Apparently they like shade so this may be the ideal choice to put start around our pine trees as we have been have a bit of a problem finding plants that will survive in the shade there.
I picked the only one that had a flower so I could enjoy the flower now as it’s not likely to blossom again until next spring. Glad they have some dark leaves to keep me interested until then.
Pink Manners Obedient Plant
The next table was a $6.00 and it had some nice plants too however remembering we were going to be walking home we just picked the one plant we liked the best and it was called Pink Manners Obedient Plant.
The plant is about two feet tall and the flowers look like little pink and white ghost and look real cute. Might need to call Ghost Busters someday. These flower from June – September so there is plenty of time to enjoy them this year.
It didn’t take long to reach our limit for carrying things home. Now it’s up to me to get these guys into the ground. Little too hot to do that today so I’ll be looking at this job first thing in the morning.
I woke up this morning and looked out the window as usual. Almost turned around and crawled back in bed. All I could see was thick dark clouds. Looked like another rainy day in Moncton.
I didn’t go back to bed though, just made an extra strong coffee and waited for it to get lighter so I could go take some pictures in the yard.
On the same pansy plant there were a few buds showing and one that was about ready to open. Pansies are such cute little flowers and always nice to see.
Thought This Guy Was Done But I Guess I Was Wrong
I don’t always know what the weeds are in our yard. Some of them look so good I keep them as flowers, like the two I have potted and growing in a pair of our son’s shoes he out grew some years ago.
The flowers on these two plants are very tiny and hard to see if you’re not up close to them.
The plant in the shoe on the left already flowered and now had green berries and is a few weeks older than the one on the right.
This morning I see the newest one has some little flowers on it. Just a few days ago it was only half as tall as the the one on the left but after the last week of rain it seems to have caught up with the other one.
Well that was before this last week of rain. Now it’s almost caught up with the first one.
Hey Mr. Sparrow, Are You Following Me Around?
We have a few sparrows that never seem to stop moving. You’d think they would be a lot skinnier wouldn’t you.
At least one of them follows me around everywhere I go in the yard. At first I couldn’t even look at it and it would fly away.
Now he is getting closer and closer and even stops long enough for me to get a picture before he takes off again.
A Dewy Wolf Spider Web
Everything was covered with rain drops this morning including this wolf spider web. When I squatted down next to it so I could get a picture the spider came out to see what was up.
When he saw it was just me and not a bug for breakfast he disappeared again. I tried getting him to come out, without wrecking his web, but he wasn’t up for it.
I will have to sneak out later and see if I can get a picture that’s in focus.
Happy To See Our Nasturtiums Blooming
I started some nasturtiums in a pot a month ago and they are doing great. Such vibrant colours.
I also planted a row of nasturtiums on each side of the raised bed I created last year. They are a little behind the ones I have in the pot.
Just this morning I saw the first bud ready to open and a couple more that were so tiny I almost missed them. Those little ones will take a couple more days before they open.
In another week they should be filled in and putting on a pretty go show for us.
My first attempts at getting a picture this morning didn’t work so well as it was still dark with heavy clouds so I had to go out later and take more pictures.
When I went back out the bud was already open more than it was just an hour earlier. So for the picture below I used a four different flower heads.
Those who owned this property before we did loved flowers and even though we’ve been here since 2005 I’m still learning the names of some of those flowers.
An example would be the violets we have so enjoyed, without knowing what they were. The first couple of years we cut them back thinking they were weeds. They never had a chance to flower until I didn’t get to cutting them back one year.
Just a couple of days ago I was on my Google+ account where I saw the same plant I’ve had been cutting back and learned they are violets. They sure didn’t look anything like mom’s African Violets.and saw a post that had a violet just like one of ours. Love finding the names of the plants we have in our yard.
I was thinking about moving some of them to other spots in the yard but wasn’t sure when I could transplant violets. After a quick search I found out they are classified as an invasive species which tells me the they might just survive no matter when I move them.
I start my interest in home gardening with a vegetable garden but each year I get more involved in flower gardening so now I’m even busier than when I was just focusing on vegetable gardening.
I have been working hard to get my garden replanted after tropical storm Andrea drowned it. Before it had time to completely drain it was filled up again by another storm.
Fortunately I didn’t have time to finish the first planting so I only had the 15 tomato plants I started from seed. There were 6 varieties of tomatoes.
I did a couple more rows this morning but didn’t last long before I needed a break. The soil is still quite wet. It hasn’t rained for a week and you still can’t kneel or sit on the lawn without getting wet. I only have one more day and I’ll have it done.
I took a break and had some water. Once I stopped sweating I grabbed my camera and went for a walk to see what growing on around Moncton.
The first thing to catch my eye was the tree that had the blossoms showing in the top left. The remind me of our bridal wreath spirea but much bigger. I will have to walk up the street later when they are home and ask what it is. I want one in our yard.
The next yard had a huge white mushroom. The cap was almost a foot across and only an inch off the ground. Very cool looking. Wouldn’t have been nice to see a frog or toad sitting on it.
I have to say that I didn’t get much exercise from the walk although I did bend down and crouch down a lot so that’s a bonus. All in all I took over 190 pictures in just one hour.
I saw this lovely red clematis that was right next to a power meter and it made something ugly far less ugly. I may just have to plant one next to our meter.
There was a white clematis along the way but it was too far onto the property for me to get a good picture. It looked great and if I had seen anyone I would have asked permission to go get a picture.
Maybe I should be taking my walks in the evening.
Well I am not going to put all the pictures I took here today but here are a few more I hope you enjoy as much as I did.
After our long cold winters I sure look forward to spring each year and the tulips that pop out of our yard at this time of year.
This little tulip was the first to open in the front of our house and a day or two later a second one popped up to join it.
The petals have a pastel red border than follows along the inside of each petal make it very nice on the eyes.
What’s really cool about our tulips is that they open during the day and close back up at night so I can watch them open again the next day.
Yellow And White Tulips
That cool little tulip is on the north side of our front steps but the beautiful tulips showing on the right were opening on the south side of the front steps.
As these yellow and white tulips were showing off a red tulip was growing up behind them. I think it took about a week before it opened and tried to grab my attention.
I looked at the white and yellow tulips today and they are on their last legs. The wind and rains expected over the next three days will take all their petals I’m afraid but I will see them again next spring.
Bright Red Tulips And Even Tiger Tulips
Here is the red tulip that was creeping up behind the yellow/white tulips above. When he did get big enough to open he was spectacular. Love the brightly coloured tulips and some of my favourite tulips.
Still didn’t out shine the yellow and white group. A close second though.
It would be great to have them keep coming back all summer long but then we might not appreciate them as much as we do at our house.
On the north side of the steps we get this one tiger tulip, if that’s what its called but on the south side we a group of six or seven.
Love the way it goes from a redish orange to yellow edged petals. Beautiful and another of my favourite tulips.
Looking close up it looks like it has been beaten and wrinkled but that’s the way they grow. A close up shows they have a very raggedy edge to the petals that I think is very cool.
Love Bright Yellow Tulips
When the bright yellow tulips open they add another level of coolness to our front yard. As much as I like the tulips that have gradient coloured petals or the two tone petals I have to say the pure colours make me the happiest.
I have been enjoying our tulips and a few others around Moncton. They started near the end of April and have been going ever since. It’s now the end of May.
Sadly this may be their lasts weekend as we are about to get a lot of heavy rain and strong winds. The tulips don’t do well with the wind. I am already looking forward to seeing them all again next spring.
Some Of The Tulips in Our Front Yard
We have lots of tulips in our spring home garden but there are no tulips in our backyard. That will be remedied come next fall when I will plant a couple of dozen more in the back yard.
During the winter I do a whole lot more reading than I do any other time of the year. As a gardener and fishing nut I do my fun stuff during the spring, summer and fall and then learn new things in the winter.
This past winter I saw a picture on Pinterest with a short caption saying to soak your garden seeds for 24 hours before planting them to help them germinate faster. For some of the seeds I have they take a long time to germinate in soil.
Soaking Sweet Pea Seeds
I kind of forgot that tip only to think about it after I was almost done. Fortunately I still had a few seeds to start some sweet peas and lupins. They went in water for 24 hours. I kept checking them from time to time and after about 6 hours I could see that some seeds had already split open. Very cool.
Almost a week ago I planted some lupin seeds but nothing had happened yet. The seeds I soaked in water for a day sprouted at the same time, just two days later.
This morning between the rain I went out and planted the soaked seeds along the two fences in the north east corner of our yard. They should make a nice privacy fence for the summer. I also planted a few in the raised bed on the left and right of our three clematis.
That should fill up that empty space on the trellis until the clematis catch up.
I also filled two pots with soil and then added some of the soaked sweet pea seeds to one half of the pot. The other half is where I plan to stick a plastic pop bottle I can fill and use as a drip irrigation system so they don’t dry out as quickly as they usually do in the summer.
I have started an article on using containers for drip irrigation I will publish it shortly, I hope.
We have lived here for nearly eight years and still have flowers blooming that we have no idea their name. They are just beautiful and that was good enough for me.
However if I want to have more of them I guess I need to know their names so I can order some. Like these little blue and white stars growing in the front of our house.
Glory of The Snow
After searching for a while and looking at pictures I finally found them. They are commonly called Glory Of The Snow and then there is their scientific name which I can’t really pronounce, Chionodoxa Forbesii.
We have a few around the yard but the first to come up were those right up against the house where the soil warmed up first. As soon as the snow melted a bit up came the crocus and right behind them our Glory of the Snow.
These little guys are only four inches high with blue and white flowers that look like tiny stars. I love how the white starts in the center and changes to a dark blue as it reaches the ends of the petals. One of our best spring home garden flowers.
The Glory of the Snow is started from blubs but I wasn’t able to get any this year as everywhere I checked they were already sold out for this year. I will keep checking and order some as soon as I find them.
I moved to Moncton, New Brunswick back in 1980 but it wasn’t until about 25 years later that we finally had a place we were allowed to dig up the yard, because we bought our own property.
In the time that we have been living and home gardening here in Moncton I have only every seed just a few butterflies. I think they were pure white and pure yellow. Nothing else but I want that to change.
I grew up in the 60s seeing lots of butterflies but when I started gardening I expected to see a lot more butterflies than I am seeing so I have to do something to draw them to our backyard and vegetable garden.
Monarch butterflies are my favourite but I know there are other butterflies that would match their beauty, just haven’t seen them here. I’ve had to start learning more about butterflies and how they live in order to change our yard to plants and flowers that specific butterflies, like the monarch, likes.
We Are Planting A Butterfly Garden This Spring
Went out looking for some seeds to start a butterfly and hummingbird garden. I will be planting them in the backyard where I can watch them from my office window.
I found a few packs of seeds that should do the trick, now I just have to create a couple of new flower beds for those seeds.
Of course I won’t get as much work done in my office if I do this but hey I’m retired and can move as slow as I want.
I have been thinking about the plants that butterflies like to get nectar from but I didn’t put any thought at all into the plants these butterflies use to lay their eggs on which are called host plants. So glad I have been watching videos to help me learn what I need to get and keep butterflies in our yard.
Example: We have black swallowtail butterflies in New Brunswick so I need host plants for their eggs and for the caterpillars to feed on before they eventually become the adult butterfly. Just this morning I learned they love the carrot family so carrot tops, fennel and Queen Anne’s Lace.
However, to host Monarch butterflies which have been my favourite since childhood I will need members of the milkweed family as a host.
I’ve Learned Which Butterflies Live Here
I couldn’t tell you how many varieties of butterflies there are in North America or my own province of New Brunswick so I’ve very happy we have Internet to do some research to see how many we have here and which ones frequent the Moncton area.
Learning which butterflies we have will help me pick the right nectar and host plants for our yard and garden.
Butterflies In New Brunswick Canada
I used the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas to find the butterflies in New Brunswick and then those that frequent Moncton where we live.
Common Branded Skipper
Long Dash Skipper
Pepper and Salt Skipper
Common Roadside Skipper
Canadian Tiger Swallowtail
Eastern Pine Elfin
Northern Spring Azure
Great Spangled Fritillary
I’m excited about this year’s gardening and hope to see many more butterflies than I’ve ever seen and if I can find their host plants locally I’ll be seeing more and more butterflies every year from now on.
Just watched another video that I found very informative and had to share it here.
It’s only been about 5 years that we have been gardening here in Moncton, New Brunswick but we never saw any hummingbirds. Then last year I got to see one up close for just a couple of seconds.
It was enough to make me want to see more of them so now I’m learning how to attract hummingbirds to our backyard garden.
Hummingbird have always been one of my favourite birds, just never saw one until now. That’s more than 50 years loving them without actually seeing one in person.
I was checking out some of our tomato plants when I thought I saw something fly past me. I turned and saw a hummingbird enjoying the blossoms on our pole beans. I had just enough time for my brain to recognize it and then it took off like a rocket into the next yard.
What Varieties Live in New Brunswick
The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird I learned about way back in grade school but I was curious to know if there are other varieties here in New Brunswick and I found we have at least four varieties: Ruby-throated, RufousBlack-Chinned, Broad-Billed.
Here is a video that has helped me.
Recycling To Make Hummingbird Feeders
I bought a little hummingbird feeder a year ago to see if I could attract hummingbirds but never saw a single one using the feeder. I think the location was a poor choice and this year I will put them in a less sunny spot.
Items Required For My Hummingbird Feeder Project
For the hummingbird feeders I will make this year I am choosing to recycle products that would normally end up in the trash. Maybe a couple of water bottles and yogurt containers. Use a little bright red lipstick to draw some flower petals around the drinking holes and they should be good to go. Come on hummingbirds.
I won’t need many items to make my birdfeeders.
Plastic water, soda or pop bottle with cap
Small Shallow Tub, 3 to 5 inches across
String or thin wire for hanging the feeder
Drill and small drill bits or nail and hammer
Bright red lipstick or permanent marker
I couldn’t find any bright red containers to use but I did find a couple of bright red plastic coffee containers that I will cut up. If I do it right I should be able to roll a strip up and put it inside the bottle. Then hopefully the rolled up plastic will unroll and cover the sides making the contents appear red.
Note: As I was reading things online I remember one article mentioning problems with ants. If you have problems with ants finding your feeders you can just put petroleum jelly on the string or wire you use to connect your feeder to whatever is holding it off the ground.
I also read that it’s not good to use food colouring as it can cause sores on the hummingbird’s mouth. It’s better to use simple syrup made from 3 or 4 parts water to one part sugar. This is why I will try to have a red container or red plastic I can put inside to make it appear red to attract them.
Related Hummingbird Info Sites
I found a site that shows a Google map with locations of hummingbirds in North America. It says it’s a global map but really it’s pretty much U.S. only.
I love images of hummingbirds and found this hummingbird Flickr page. I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of the hummingbird I saw last summer but hopefully I will this summer and I’ll add it to that Flickr page.
Well now it’s off to see how well I do at building my own hummingbird feeder.
Well Casey and I had planned a musky fishing trip for today but after Casey checked out the weather conditions for next week we decided it might be better to hold off until Monday.
Today was going to start at minus 10C and only go up to about 3C but Monday is looking like double digit temps on the plus side. I was actually happy he called to see if I wanted to change dates as I take heart meds that thins my blood and makes me feel the cold so much sooner than I used to.
When I took our pit bull Honey out at 5:30 this morning she didn’t take long doing her business and to start barking to come back in. I didn’t wait outside with her either. It was a chilly morning.
Trimming The Grass Back From Our Garden Beds
Rather than sitting here thinking about the fishing we didn’t do I decided it was better to turn my thoughts to my trusty garden spade and the grass that has grown from the edges of our gardens into them.
It’s great that the ground hasn’t frozen yet which makes this task a lot easier and faster. Hopefully this year I do a better job at keep those lines straight around our vegetable garden.
We have a couple of flower beds that have edges in need of trimming but we are still building and shaping these. Once we get them to the size and shape we have in mind I would like to put a nice border around them so they will be easier to maintain.
For the time being we will continue to use the garden spade to trim the edges and keep them clean looking but once we have the veggie garden dug up to about 10×20 feet I plan to put a fence with an arbour around it. Then we will have the idea spot to put the patio swing or garden bench Judy and Jean gave us, which are sitting in the garage waiting for that spot.