Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Place to Rest and Enjoy the Garden

This bench is made from treated pine boards.
Every garden needs a bench. It is a place to go, sit down and rest after a hard day of pulling weeds or raking. It is a place to sit and reflect in the garden. It is a place to sit and enjoy the sounds and sights of nature. It can be that beautiful focal point, tucked away in the corner of the garden, and it can be that special place to spend time with family or friends. Yes, every garden needs a bench.

Garden benches come in all sizes, shapes, styles and colors. They can be made of wood, stone, metal, plastic or cement.  There is a style for every garden, both large and small. Garden benches come in many different price ranges and one that can fit in every gardener's budget. Here are some ideas for garden benches that could be in your garden.

A simple stone bench will last for a long time in the garden.

A bench made from recycled car parts. "Go Colts"

A bench seating area made from pre-cast cement block with decorative floral accent pillows.


This beautiful butterfly bench is one of my favorites because it is a bench and a piece of art.

This metal bench with two decorative planted containers, invites you to come, sit and enjoy the sun.

This unstained wood bench from the local box store is still a classic.

A stained wood bench with a floral accent pillow becomes a focal point in this garden.

A simple stained wood bench for that Japanese garden.


A very decorative cast iron bench for that formal garden.

This metal painted butterfly bench would look lovely in front of a butterfly garden.

An easy to make bench from logs and recycled 2X4 boards.

 This large bench looks like tree branches. It would look great in a woodland garden.

Did you find a bench that you liked?  Let me know which one was your favorite and leave a comment.
Happy Gardening!
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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

It's Not a Hummingbird!

Sometimes when I am out working in the garden, I have spotted what I thought was a baby hummingbird darting around in the plants. What it really happens to be, is a Hummingbird Hawk Moth. Unlike most moths, it will be found active on a nice sunny day. Hummingbird Hawk Moths are about 2 inch long with similar coloration of a real hummingbird. They even fly and dart around like the bird with a humming sound. Their wingspan is between 2 to 6 inches. Hummingbird Hawk Moths live in fields and gardens and spend their days feeding at flowers much like a hummingbird. Always look for the antennae on their heads to tell the difference between the moth and bird.
Female moths, lay eggs on host plants. These are plants that the young caterpillars, once hatched, will feed on. Viburnum, black cherry, hawthorns, honeysuckle, madder and bedstraw are some of their favorites. When the female lays her eggs, the eggs will be deposited on top of the leaves. In about 6 to 8 days the larvae hatch and start to feed on the leaves of the host plant. The larvae are called hornworms. After a month of feeding, the larvae pupate which can last until the following spring.
The adult moth enjoys the nectar of flowers like red clover, thistles, wild roses, blackberry, honeysuckle, petunias, lilacs, phlox, verbena and butterfly bushes. They feed on the flowers by using a long mouth part called a proboscis. The proboscis is coiled up until the moth is ready to feed.
There are 125 species of hummingbird moths in North America. They are great pollinators and always welcomed into my garden.

Happy Gardening!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Eagles in Indiana

My last blog post was about an eagle that was in my neighbor's tree. Today's post is on "Eagles in Indiana". Here are some facts that you may or may not know about eagles.

  • The bald eagle was designated as the national bird of the United States in 1782.
  • The loss of wetland habitat in Indiana caused a decline in the eagle population.
  • The use of chemical pesticides caused the bald eagle population to severely decline in the 50's and 60's. Chemical pesticides called DDT were found in the fish that the birds ate and it caused the egg shells to be thin and break.
  • Female birds weigh more than males.
  • Female and male birds are identical in color.
  • Adult birds have bright yellow feet, bills and eyes. Younger birds have brown bills and yellow feet.
  • A young bird reaches maturity in 4 to 5 years at which time they can start to breed.
  • Eagles mate for life, breed and nest in the same location every year.
  • The primary diet of an eagle is fish. They will eat ducks, rabbits, squirrels and other small animals. They can spot their prey from up to two miles away with their keen eyesight.
  • An eagle's nest is huge from 5 to 6 feet wide. It is made from sticks and lined with moss, grass and other materials.
  • Bald eagles can live in captivity for up to 50 years.
  • Federal law protects eagles with very large fines or jail time.
Over the years, the Bald Eagle Reintroduction Program that was started in 1985 has done a wonderful job in repopulating these birds in Indiana. This program introduced young birds into Indiana in the Lake Monroe area. The birds came from areas of Wisconsin and Alaska and were monitored over the years in their new home. There are now estimated to be up to 175 nesting areas in Indiana.

I am very thankful for programs like the Bald Eagle Reintroduction Program. I live in the city with the White River in my backyard and I can watch eagles flying along the river as they search for fish. What a sight to see and enjoy from my garden.

Happy Gardening!


'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...