Spooky Stuff for the Garden

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Posted by jasdfgh | Posted in Plants / Flowers | Posted on 15-10-2013

Hey, are you planning a Halloween party this year?

Pumpkin Garden

We love Halloween in our house. My kids like to plan their outfits from around September onwards – my youngest wants to dress up as a Disney princess, but my oldest is determined he’s going to be a Zombie. Nice. Hubbie likes Halloween too and he started talking about us having a party this year, as we owe a lot of our friends and family and who doesn’t love a bit Halloween fancy dress?

 

When he started talking about the party, I groaned at first and then I thought – actually, I could put some displays out in the garden. It could work really well and a lot of my friends haven’t yet seen what I’ve been doing with the garden ever since I started my new hobby. I think this could work well!

 

Growing Pumpkins

 

So first off – well I’m too late to have grown my own pumpkins and squashes this year, but I do plan to grow them next year. I’ve researched it and I’d like to try the popular Jack O’Lantern variety because you can get a 10-20 pound pumpkin (that’s a lot of pumpkin pie). You need to plant them in rich soil, apparently, and sow the seeds 6-8 inches apart.

 

Pumpkins need 110-140 days of frost-free growing and about six hours of direct sunlight a day. You should also feed them regularly to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to grow well.

 

I guess if I plant them in early summer, I’ll have pumpkins in time for next Halloween Well, that’s next year sorted then, but this year I’ll need to just buy my pumpkins from the local Walmart like everyone else!

 

What I plan to do for my Halloween party this year is get Hubbie to carve out five or six pumpkins and I’ll use them to light up the path up to our door. I think it’ll look pretty awesome and it’ll show off my new lawn and the fab wrought iron railings.

 

There are some great candles and decorations you can buy too, and I thought I’d get some of them too for my outdoors to make it extra spooky, and I’ll get some fairy lights for the house and our decking.

 

Fiery Fun

 

Hubbie wants to do a bonfire too. I wasn’t too sure because I was worried about safety, but he’s promised me he’ll do everything to make sure it’s safe. He’ll wheel out the barbecue too so that we can have hot dogs and burgers while standing round the fire. He muttered something about fireworks too, so I’ll definitely have to invite all of our neighbours as otherwise people might get bugged because of the noise.

 

We’ll definitely be having pumpkin pie and maybe some roasted pumpkin, seeing as we’re going to have so much left over pumpkin from all that carving. I might do toffee apples too, and hot chocolate with marshmallows. (Us adults will have a slug of brandy or Jack Daniels in ours!)

 

Now, I need to go off and make a lot of lists – there’s so much to do and I haven’t even decided what costume I’m going to be wearing yet!

Say Hello to the Birdies!

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Posted by jasdfgh | Posted in Wildlife | Posted on 03-10-2013

birdsHi everyone – is the weather getting colder with you? We had a great September – and we all sat out in the garden a lot – but now I think fall is definitely here and the chances to enjoy the garden aren’t going to be as many.

Because I’m now to gardening and I’ve been finding out a lot of stuff since I started trying to improve it, I feel kinda sad that fall is here. As you’ll know I went for an artificial lawn and it’s been great not having to cut it through the summer (my neighbour has a real lawn and I think he was really envious of me as I didn’t need to cut ours and he seemed to be out there practically every day).

Of course, an artificial lawn looks great all year round so it’s nice to know I’ll be looking out at the same view (sort of, you know what I mean…)

 

Feed the Birds

I’ve been thinking about the birds though. My kids love animals and wildlife and I thought it would be great for them to feed the birds this winter. We could have fun trying to identify them too – I picked up this book in my local book store last week which was meant for kids and it tells you how to identify different birds and gives you information about them

We could turn it into a competition – who in the family can see and identify the most kinds of birds. What do you think?

Anyway, I read up online about what I need to do to attract birds to the garden in winter. I’m going to start with as bird feeder, obviously, and I’ll make sure I put it in a place where cats or squirrels can’t get at it easily. You then make sure there is a regular supply of seeds and suet in there to attract the birds.

 

More than Feeders

But, according to what I’ve been reading, bird feeders aren’t the only things you need. You also want to make sure there are trees, bushes and shrubs in your garden. The birds will be looking for shelter and stuff they can use for building nests. I’ve got some asters growing in the garden, and apparently they are great for attracting cardinals, chickadees, goldfinches, indigo buntings, nuthatches, sparrows and towhees. Hey – I don’t even know what half of these birds look like!

Advice I’ve read also recommends other plants which are good for attracting birds to your garden – the black-eyed Susan, coneflowers and globe thistles are good for birds. It seems that black-eyed Susan and coneflowers are pretty sturdy plants too and are good at surviving even the harshest winter.

 

This all sounds good and I can’t wait to see the birds in our garden this winter.