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I set up my bird bath and got some suet cakes for my bird feeder this weekend. I did this because it is cold and snowy so the birds need water to drink and food to eat, but also because we have about 8 bluebirds hanging out with cardinals, finches and some other lovelies. The bluebirds are such a burst of color and even my neighbor commented how excite he was to see them.
There is something lovely about having birds in the garden. I have a few areas of my yard set up with gardens. The one where the bird bath and shepherd hook are is a small mound that has a yucca plant, I will never understand the proliferation of that plant in New Jersey landscaping, and there is also my gorgeous sage, cat mint, Russian sage, rosemary and oregano. I will be moving some lamb's ear to that area in the spring. The other garden was a vast wasteland of overgrowth which now has decorative grasses, lemon balm and bee balm, both which multiply on their own and makes it easy peasy to tend. Then I have my vegetable garden. Last year I did not have great success with some of my vegetables which just plain out sucked. Also, having a little one did not allow me to putter about as much as I like to. Some people can do it with ten kids, but with my one and our handicapped dog I had a hard time finding a rhythm that suited us best. Anyway, because of that we are going to participate in a CSA with a local farm. The good thing is it works out to about $21 a week for vegetables and fruit. Now yes, I have grown my own stuff, but there things that have failed miserably in my garden. Cabbage, brussell sprouts, eggplant, beans, cauliflower and even my cucumbers were bad. They were wonderful the year before that. I do have a composter and I use it all in the garden, but for some reason even my basil was crappy last summer. So, I will stick with what has been successful, kale, leeks and swiss chard and have the CSA supplement everything else. I like being able to support a local farm and not need the supermarket for my produce. I only wished we lived somewhere that had a year round CSA.
I might even choose to grow flowers that the deer would normally eat within my vegetable garden since is a fenced area. I just saw a flower that i must grow called lupin. They are those lovely tall flowers on the right.

There are some wonderful photographs of English cottage gardens on the blog Frugal Living UK. I am sure those gardens are a lot of work, but once they are established, oh the joy they must bring.



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