Posts by Month, Year: May, 2013

Memorial Day: Hosting a Gathering for Hummingbirds

Happy Memorial Day! Over the weekend, you probably fired up your grills, swept off porches and decks, spruced up gardens, opened pools and mixed pitchers of lemonade, all in preparation for the season that lends itself to hosting outdoor fun and merriment. While entertaining family and friends this summer, you can be the "hostess with the mostess" by catering to one of nature's fanciest, fluttering guests: the hummingbird.


Life on the Balcony: Container Gardening

Whether you live on acres of green or you can measure your green in inches, container gardening can be for every yard. For a while, I lived in a high-rise apartment building in Key Largo, Florida…the only green I saw belonged to a tennis court below me. Being short on space, but not wanting to give up my love of flowers and gardening, I created a tropical oasis of potted plants on my balcony. It quickly became my favorite "room" in my apartment.


Mother’s Day Reflections: Gardening Like Mom

Mother's Day has always been one of my mom's favorite holidays. For twenty-four hours, my mom does not need to lift a finger unless she feels so inclined. Her garden to-do-list is handed off to my dad, my two sisters, my brother and me. Rain or shine, we set out to work in the yard while she watches (cold beverage in hand) by the pool. This lasts for about all of twenty minutes. She cannot help herself.


The Buzz on Cicadas

Have you heard all the buzz about the return of the cicadas?  If you haven't, you soon will.  This summer parts of the east coast will be invaded by Brood II cicadas. While they are annoying, cicadas don't pose much of a threat. The worst part of their existence is the noise.  Their constant loud annoying hum as they search for mates can be enough to drive some people over the edge.


Final Frost Date & Gardening Tips

"Clear moon, frost soon" is the old farmer's adage for predicting frost. This indicates that if the atmosphere is clear, there is no blanket of clouds to trap the heat radiating from the earth's surface. If the night temperature is low enough, and there is no wind, frost may form on such a clear night. Nowadays, we can rely on a more advanced system for predicting frost. Each year a range of local data is collected to predict the first and last frost dates for a region. The last frost date in the spring and the first frost date in the fall dictate how long the growing season will be, allowing us to plan our gardens accordingly.