by Donna Lewis
I was asked to show the progress of my pollinator garden as the year goes on and to say a few things about what I do as it goes forward.
As you can imagine, I can only mention a few things, because gardening is an ongoing project every day. Each year the garden is different. Sometimes Mother Nature supplies plenty of water and wind born native plant seeds. But sometimes she decides to hold on to her precious water. You must be observant.
Just the water alone can determine what plants will be successful.
Right now the garden is asleep, as it should be. The leaves protect many things beside the plants. They are the blanket that keeps things warm. There are butterfly chrysalis that stay there until Spring tells them it’s time to wake up. So, removing the leaf litter too soon can steal from the garden the very animals you are hoping to see. Timing is everything!
Is there a rigid rule that I use to know when it’s time to clean up the garden?
NO!!! If I knew that I would be famous.
I usually start now to just tidy up a few things. Nothing major. We all know that the last freeze has not happened, and we don’t know when it will.
I had to pick up the mess the storm left just a week ago. Many limbs and bushes were broken. I cleaned all that up and removed it.
In January, as in all months, you want to keep the water sources for your birds clean. My bird feeders are not inside the garden, but just outside it. That keeps the seed debris, rats, and feral cats from living in the garden.
Soon as it warms up, I will begin to see what vines, bushes, and plants are reborn. Some gave their life for the garden last year, and I will have to reseed or replant them again. The real miracle of gardening is about to start again.
Is it a lot of physical work? Yes it is. But, to me nothing you love to do is really work. My goal as always is not just to have a retreat to renew myself, but to help the wild things that share the planet with us.
I always try to learn what they need, and that’s what I put in the garden.
So, we’ll watch the garden blossom together.