Archive for June, 2021

Sick & Dying Birds

Jennie sent us this information:

The latest BYGL newsletter reports on something going on with birds and I had been wondering, having seen at least 4 dead blackbirds around my yard in recent days. 

Here is a link or you can read below: What is Going on with the Birds?? | BYGL (osu.edu)

What can you do?

Report sick or dying birds.

1) As the cause is still unknown, specimen submission is critical at this stage. Please contact your nearest wildlife rehabilitator if you find a sick bird.  To track the spread of the disease, the ODNR-Division of Wildlife is accepting reports of dead birds through their online reporting system a: https://apps.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife/speciessighting/.  Choose ‘Bird – Diseased/Dead’ in the ‘Species’ drop-down menu.

2) Avoid touching sick or dead birds by wearing disposable gloves and taking other precautions. USGS recommends disposing of dead birds in a sealable plastic bag with household trash.

Take down your bird feeders and empty your bird baths for 7—10 days.

1) The National Wildlife Health Center recommends temporarily removing bird feeders and bird baths “during a disease outbreak observed at bird feeders or when sick and dead birds are consistently turning up at a feeder to prevent congregation of infected and non-infected birds at the feeding site.”

Clean and disinfect bird feeders and bird baths.

1) Clean bird feeders and bird baths with a 10% household bleach solution (9 parts water:1 part bleach) and remove any spilled and potentially contaminated feed from under the feeder.

2) Clean the feeders, bird baths, and any items contaminated with bird droppings in an outdoor space or in another area of your home that is not used for food preparation or bathing. Some avian pathogens, such as Salmonella, can cause sickness in people and cleaning bird feeders and baths with you and your families health in mind is very important.

3) Remember, even when there isn’t an outbreak, it’s still important to regularly clean your bird feeders and baths to reduce the spread of other diseases that may spread among songbirds


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Tour Questions

Part of the fun of our tours is learning new plants or rediscovering old ones.  Near the parking area at TBG where we gathered for our tour and ended it, there were two adjacent trees, each surrounded by a very low, dense carpet of small dark green groundcover plants in beds at least 6 feet across. Of course we wondered what they were and looked for clues. (here are links to images if Gail doesn’t send her photos) https://www.plantarium.ru/dat/plants/2/271/591271_0829db43.jpg  https://th.bing.com/th/id/OIP.m_QuSrcpYLHpY7CkyCXRIwHaE8?pid=ImgDet&rs=1

I got the genus name correct on one of them but the common name wrong, calling it creeping buttercup due to the single yellow flower seen at the time. The accepted common name is barren strawberry. Here’s a good description of the native plant.

Waldsteinia fragarioides – Plant Finder (missouribotanicalgarden.org)

On the other, which also resembled wild strawberry plants I got the common name correct, “Indian strawberry” but couldn’t recall a genus name nor whether the little red fruits presented above the leaves were edible. It is Duchesnia indica, which also has yellow flowers.  Its leaves and fruit are edible but tasteless, and in some areas it is considered an invasive weed in lawns and natural areas; https://extension.umn.edu/identify-invasive-species/mock-strawberry

Jennie S .

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A Big Change

As promised, I said I’d show you the end result of my deciding to tear out the shrubs that were overgrown in my front yard. This is what it looked like before I began:

As you can see they were growing into the window area . There was something wrong with my Black Elderberry. I first thought it was the carbon monoxide let off from the generator. I soon found out it had bores in the one section of the root. The photos were from last year.

Work started on removing the shrubs last fall. This is what was left in the fall:

It wasn’t so bad until this spring…I removed the stumps and the metal arbor that had been there for about 15 years. Now I needed to deal with the sudden stop of my paver walk and the monster generator.

I started with a pathway of pea gravel and laying out an idea in my head for a dry creek bed. I still had an odd transition between materials. I decided to add a little bridge over the dry creek bed. A few flagstones were added to make a walkway. I eventually discovered that this bridge was too odd to walk over and replaced it with a longer one with less pitch.

Added a small bench. I often have seating around my garden so I can take breaks after hard work. Now to hide that generator. I came up with this idea after seeing a selvage piece. I purchased two flower boxes with trellis…but they didn’t hid the top of the generator. So I reconstructed them and added a bit of decorative detail. Now that monster doesn’t show so much. The panels are removable in case maintenance needs done on the generator.

Planting began on the front area and I added a non-working fountain, which I intended to add plants to. My next idea was to add a fence along the lot line for climbing roses and a trellis.

Fence was completed and I started to layout my plants. I saw this on Pinterest and always loved it.

Finally I rented a Sod Cutter to cut away the grass….what a great investment in time and energy. Although, removing all that cut side was a job. There are 5 David Austin, James Galloway climbing roses. They are continual bloomers along with 18 Salvia, 5 heuchera, and some perennial grass.

Now to add the arbor and 4 climbing roses onto it. Two Eden, and Two Zephirine Drouhin Roses. I also scored some flagstones (large ones…very heavy) on Facebook Marketplace for $2 each.

After getting all that sod removed the garden is planted. All of the three areas the side yard, the west front and east front are all on drip irrigation.

I still need to add the mulch.

It looks great at night….except for that generator’s green light.

There was significance to the items I planted. Roses are for my sister in law Rose, the lilies are for my sister in law Lillian. Both recently pasted away less than a year. I intentionally used a lot of purple blooms. That is for my sister, Christine, and long time friend Brenda who are both suffering with Alzheimer’s. I call this my Dedication Garden.

Here are photos of the other area. Love my new window boxes. Next year (or maybe this fall), it should fill in nicely.

This was also added…a new window, and a garage pergola….but I don’t think anything will be added to it. ..

One last thing, I borrowed:

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Demo Gardens

By Gail K.

Entry Garden in Full Bloom:
I ordered “green tomato” plants from Bob; arranging to meet last Friday. We both heeded Jennie’s advice & toured the Demo Gardens.

entering the main drive- note the change: the once large bed on the left– now three separate areas around each tree. A focal point was created by planting hostas and Heuchera at the base of the front tree.

Friday was so sunny, much color & pizzaz was “washed” out in photos. Back up today but no comparison for what our eyes see. ( south/east end of  door entry).

south side of the building

Getting a quality photo of the
entry garden is difficult given the surroundings so these are “cropped” versions.

Here are some individuals highlights from the entry garden: 



Gas plant…………..the smell emitted by the plants in the entry garden was heavenly & color combos very appealing

two tone peony

Clematis is putting on an outstanding display this year

Iris were in various stages of bloom & fade

Finally the rose within the rose…………

Enjoy these other highlights in the gardens Minnesota Snowflake


Rosa Rugosa

Sweet Shrub

Linden Tree–its blooms will soon fill the gardens with a wonderful aroma


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