Thursday, May 28, 2009
Some of the beekeepers' tools haven't changed in hundreds of years--like the smoker on the left that calms the bees when you are opening a hive. THe beekeepers hat with netting is also important, and gloves. But the most important thing for a beginning beekeeper to remember is that slow, steady, determined movements do not alarm bees as much as quick movements.
Bees are just as important to the casual gardener as they are to farmers raising crops for animals and human consumption. For better yields and larger flowers, we should each try to have at least one hive to care for and manage. There are many things to consider about beekeeping. Location, neighbors and keeping the hive healthy.
There is more to the butterfly garden than I thought. I visited the Spalding Garden Club's curbside butterfly garden in Sandy Springs, GA. The garden has been there on a busy corner for twenty years and was started by a founding member of the club. It was educational and inspirational. Here is what I learned: butterflies are attracted to penta, milkweed, seedum and similar plants. They love parsley. Caterpillars are attracted to bronze fennel. At the club garden, the fennel are crawling with caterpillars. Must have those to make butterflies.
Butterflies also like to have a basking rock. In my garden, the rock sits on a clay saucer filled with moist dirt. Butterflies alight on the moist earth then bask on a sun-warmed rock.
I rimmed my flower bed with wine bottles. It creates an interesting affect that I am not sure what to think about it. Will evaluate.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Haven't had time to post anything in a while, so today I'll catch up. Here are some photos of our garden taken May 2, 2009. We harvested our first batch of sweet peas and devoured them raw. They were the sweetest peas I ever tasted. It's been 25 years since I ate a fresh, organic vegetable from my backyard. What a taste sensation. Backyard gardens and farms are the way to stay healthy and to save the planet. Wish I had done this for the last 25 years.