Saturday, April 28, 2007

Birds and Plants

It was such a beautiful day. I thoroughly enjoyed my coffee out on the patio this morning. It was so nice to be outside. Early morning is one of the few times during the day when it is quiet here beside the playground. Well, it was at least people quiet, the birds were singing and as they called it on Bambi, they were "twitterpating" (not sure about that spelling), anyway, there was a lot of spring courting going on. This is my first attempt at bird photography and it was with my small camera, zoomed all the way, so the quality isn't that great. It is so exciting to finally see some pretty birds. When we moved here, it was a brand new subdivision that had been a cornfield. There were no mature trees. In fact the only trees were the one small tree per yard the builders installed (ours died). I had several bird feeders at my house in Alabama and I was a bird watcher, identifying and keeping a list of my bird visitors. How disappointing when we moved here and only the sparrows and black birds visited the feeder. I took it down and didn't attempt to feed the birds again. We have added many trees to our yard in the last few years. Our six maples are getting quite large now and we are beginning to see some bird activity. I've seen, robins, doves, eastern bluebirds, and finches (purple and gold). I put out this thistle the other day and was so excited to watch these pretty gold finches visiting my feeder while having my coffee. I'll have to get a real finch feeder soon, this one was just a tester.

This morning I took all of my plants outside to begin the hardening off process. I counted all of the plants and also took some notes so that next year I'll remember what to do or not do.
*Pampass Grass- 8 plants. These have been very easy to grow with good germination rate. I think each seed represents a blade of grass, I sprinkled multiple seeds per peat pellet. They were started at a good time, February 25th. The seed brand was Ferry Morse and cost $1.99. Pampass grass is not winter hardy here so I will give some of these to my mom when she visits in June and I will try to over-winter a couple in the garage. I read that they do not bloom the first year, so I'm not sure why someone would choose to grow this as an annual. I'm hopeful that I will see plumes this summer, we'll see.
*Purple Wave Petunias- I have 20 healthy plants and there were only 21 seeds, (in a packet supposed to contain 15). Great germination rate. They were planted at a good time, February 25th. If I planted any later I'd have to wait for blooms, just a few are beginning to bloom now. I can't find the seed packet, but they were bought at Lowes.
* Coleus- I have 49 plants. Most are pretty healthy. Very easy to grow. Started them way too soon, (Feb. 25th).

*Impatiens- I have about 90 plants. These are a little fussy about transplanting. Those which were not transplanted, but left in the peat pellet did the best, the next best are those that were not disturbed but placed along with peat pellet into a larger peat pot. Those that fared the worse are the little ones that were too crowded and didn't receive enough light. I thinned them but hated to throw any away. I tried to save every plant, but these are obviously not healthy. I will still place them in the flower bed, who knows maybe they will perk up and begin to grow. These actually could be started earlier. I have no blooms yet, just a couple with buds. Mine look pretty pathetic compared to the store bought.

*Moonflower- 14 plants What am I going to do with 14 of these? They have been very easy to grow. I can't remember if I even soaked the seeds, I don't think I did. These were started on Feb. 27th and should have been started later. The roots are growing out of the pots and they are vining.

*Foxglove- It is actually healthier than I thought. I really neglected these because so many germinated and I didn't want to thin and transplant all of them. It has basically been survival of the fittest. I think I will separate the peat pots and just let them fight it out. I have another seed packet and I'm going to sprinkle some on the ground. Hopefully, one way or another I'll have beautiful pink foxglove. If I ever grow this from seed again, I will sprinkle the seeds a little more finely. They have a very good germination rate and obviously take some neglect. They can be started earlier than Feb. 27th.
I will have quite a bit of planting to do in a few days.


Lisa said...

Your plants look great! I love goldfinches too. Such pretty birds.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

How wonderful that the birds have found their way to your garden. I love to watch birds, just like you.

You've done a lot of sowing and now you have many lovely plants to fill your garden with.