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Monday, February 9, 2015

Rose Hips as Winter Food for Squirrels


My backyard is still under over a foot of snow with more expected this week. My bird feeder has been a busy gathering place for my feathered friends. And the squirrels are just as happy to dine on whatever mess they find on the ground from those messy birds.

But yesterday, I saw them munching on a different treat - rose hips.


During the summer, my carpet roses are a beautiful shade of pink and emit a sweet scent. Rose hips are swollen seed pods that form under the blossom, turning orange and red, and last for months after the blossom is long gone. Here's how mine looked in October.


Rose hips are a tasty treat for squirrels, birds and rabbits. Humans can eat them too, but only the fleshy outer part. The hairy inner seeds can irritate human intestines. Personally, I've never eaten one, but I've read that they taste like a tart apple crossed with a rose petal. Rose hips are rich in vitamin C and can be made into jams, jellies, syrups and tea. 


Looking at these two, enjoying the rose hips, I'm so happy I didn't deadhead the roses at the end of the season. I left them because they were attractive, but also a valuable food source for wildlife during a time of year when food is scarce.

Yum!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

What's Blooming This Month? November 2014

With the month almost at the close and the busyness of life at its peak right now (or so it seems), I thought I'd post some photos of my garden in November. I took these right before the big freeze set in which either forced all the leaves to drop or turned them into a crisp. Still the beauty of autumn was here until the end...



 They don't call it Burning Bush for nothing! This Euonymus alatus literally looks like it's on fire.

When most of the garden flowers are heading off to sleep, these Anenome 'Prince Henry' are in full bloom.

All the hostas are now turning a brilliant shade of yellow, which adds such a flair of awesomeness to the garden.

What would a fall garden be without mums? I love how these are flopped over the boulders, down the slope here.

 Silly daffodils, it's not spring yet! Go back to bed.

The Japanese Maple's deep reddish hue in autumn looks so pretty against the weeping spruce.

 The foliage and the drying flower heads of this sedum are eye catching right now.

And of course the variegated holly is in full "bloom" with berries galore - just in time for the winter season!

So there you have it - my Long Island, NY garden in November! I hope you were able to get out and enjoy the fresh autumn air before the cold and snow set in.

As always, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more frequent photo updates.

Until soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's Blooming this Month? October 2014

They sunlight streams through the trees at a different angle these days, the mornings and evenings are cool and the leaves gently fall to the ground like raindrops. Autumn is definitely here. The days are getting shorter and yet, my days are not getting any less busy. Two of the children are off at school, the other two still home with me. This doesn't leave me much time to garden or blog, but I do what I can, knowing that both will still be here next year and maybe then I'll have a few more minutes. In the meantime, I am admiring the life cycle of my garden, the beauty of the season's colors and the sweet smell in the air.

Here's what's blooming in my Long Island, NY garden this month:

My cute little garden owls continue to make me smile as they peek out from under the hydrangea leaves.

The rose hips on the carpet roses are just lovely and the perfect color to go with their surroundings.

I bought these mums last year for a few containers and before the ground froze, plopped them into the ground, not sure whether they would come back of not. I am beyond excited they came back and just love the color!

Anenome 'Queen Charlotte' is a welcome pink beauty when all the garden is getting ready for a long winter nap.

I have been waiting for days and days to see what this Dendranthema (Korean Mum) looked like. It was given to me back in June after my horrible sour mulch debacle. The name was new to me, and so I did a little research and learned that Dendranthema was formerly known as Chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemum is still commonly used for hardy florist mums to differentiate from true hardy Dendranthema.

And this sedum is still looking magnificent. The flowerheads have moved from bright pink to this deeper maroon color on top of the lovely green foliage. I don't know the cultivar, as this plant was grandfathered into my garden, so if you have any ideas, please let me know!

That's what's blooming in my garden this month! What's in yours? I'd love to hear from you.
As always, thanks to Carol over at May Dreams Gardens for hosting the monthly Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. It's great to see what's blooming all over the country!