Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Friday, May 9, 2008

Butterly Gardening

Due to the the destruction of wilderness areas, and growing urban developement, butterfly habitats are growing scarce. If you would like to play a part in these beautiful creatures conservation, plant a butterfly garden. You don't have to have a big area, several potted plants grouped together in the sun can provide a haven for butterflies. Keeping in mind a few simples "rules", you should soon be enjoying these beautiful creatures in your yard.

Butterflies are sun loving creatures. Plant your garden where it will receive at least 6 hours of sun each day

Plant both nectar and host plants.

Examples of nectar plants include butterfly bush, blueberry bushes, mock orange, plums coneflowers, milkweeds, spearmint, lantana, verbena, zinnias, lavender, asters, bee balm, and black eyed susans. This is only a very limited list.

Host plants, where the butterfly can lay their eggs, and feed the butterfly, include alfalfa, clovers, sweet fennel, dill, parsley, fennel, carrots, snapdragons, plants in the mustard and cabbage family. Remember, the caterpillar will be feeding on these plants, so if you are concerned about a few"ragged " plants, you may want to locate them in an area where they won't be seen.
Provide water for your butterflies. They don't need deep water like a birdbath. Provide a patch of wet sand along the edge of your garden, or a shallow container. In the container, fill partway with sand, and in the recessed area, put your water. The butterflies will stand on the sand and drink.
No pesticides or herbicides can be used on your plants. Butterflies are sensitive to chemicals.

Now relax and enjoy


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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Herbal Pest Control

I have always had trouble growing roses. They just require a little more attention than I like to give. None the less, I purchased two Don Juan climbing roses several years ago. After the second year, the aphids found them. The leaves fell off, leaving bare limbs with a few dark red, bug bitten roses. I cut them down to the ground throughout the summer. This spring, I decided to give them another chance and try some natural pest control since I wanted to use the petals in my bath teas. A couple of things caught my attention and I plan to try them this year.

Garlic spray: Blend 1 garlic clove and 2 cups hot water for 1-2 minutes on high speed. Allow to sit for one day. Strain and mix with 1/2 gallon water. Fill a sprayer and spray the top and bottom of the leaves. Add a few drops of vegetable oil or dish soap to help it stick to the leaves.

Catnip: According to April issue of Organic gardening, catnip has been shown to contain a substance with matches the chemical structure of the male lacewings Pheromone. Plant catnip in your beds and both male and female lacewings will be attracted. Lacewing larva eat hundreds of aphids and mites. Other herbs that have shown the ability to attract lacewings include angelica, dill, and cilantro.

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Sunday, May 4, 2008


Back from the beach in Gulfshores, Alabama with my girlfriends. I missed last years trip, and have had a rough past year. Feeling sorry for myself I almost turned the trip down again. What a mistake that would have been!Girlfriends don't expect anything from you, will listen to a little whining, then put you in your place. Refreshed and relaxed I am ready to tackle my Gardenchick website, new products, and get out and garden!
Here's to my girlfriends, Becky, Deena, Jodie, and Joanie. Ya"ll are the best!
P.S. Thanks to another great girlfriend, Shawn for her cowgirl on the beach picture.

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