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Thursday, April 27, 2017

The grass is definitely NOT greener on my side...

it's most decidedly yellow!

A spring feast


It's taken five years of my youngest child "planting" dandelions, but I finally have a lawn that my neighbors probably hate and the bees love.

Grabbing a snack

Ever since we bought this house, I've been working on the gardens out front. When we moved in, the soil was hot, dry, and as hard as a rock. Nothing was growing. None of the shrubs were flowering. There were no bees, no pollinators, nothing. 

Here are some shrubs in an area that I haven't done any work on. (Yeah, I know, it's been 5 years, and I haven't done jack. Still deciding whether to try and save them or rip them out.)

Sad, sad, sad

Now here is a shrub on the other side of the front door that is in a spot where I've consistently been amending the soil for 5 years.  It used to look just like the shrubs above. This spring, though, it's glorious!

My pretty shrub

I've never seen honey bees on it before. In fact, I didn't think bees were overly fond of azaleas, rhododendron, and mountain laurel. My impression has always been that bees considered them the celery sticks of the nectar smorgasbord -- it's what they go for when nothing else is available. However, this shrub is humming with bees.

So many bees on this thing!

Yeah, I know honey from these shrubs is toxic, but it would take a lot of nectar to make honey that harm a human. So instead of worrying, I'm enjoying the buzz.



3 comments:

  1. Wow, nice bee lawn! I love rhododendrons and azeleas but our soil is too alkaline for them out here. Isn't it amazing how much better things grow when you tend to them? Who knew!

    Now you just have to get your DH to let you fill your backyard with clover. ;-)

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    1. LOL! Yes, every spring the girls gets a 1-lb bag of clover seed and goes to town around the yard -- while the DH is still at work, of course. Mwah ha ha ha!

      The truth is that I'm a terrible gardener -- the things that flower best for me are the weeds! But I do enjoy putzing around.

      Regarding rhododendrons & azaleas -- Have you heard of Paul Gautschi and his Back to Eden gardening method? Was watching a video of him in his garden the other night, and he had acid-loving blueberries and something that likes alkaline soil (maybe rhubarb) growing side-by-side, and they both looked gorgeous! It was very inspiring. Feel like I'm needing a whole mountain of wood chips!

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    2. I haven't heard of Paul Gautschi, I'll have to check his videos out. I am successfully growing blueberries in bales of peat moss, except I don't like buying peat moss because it's not an eco-friendly medium. I have no trouble with rhubarb - can't kill the stuff! ;-)

      You'll have to post another picture of your lawn in a week or two when the yellow dandelions are all white puff balls!

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