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Plant Food not Lawn

Bet you thought this was going to be about vegetables. Surprise! It’s not. I couldn’t grow a tomato to save me. If I had to feed myself I’d starve. I can, however, grow beautiful flowers. So I provide food for the critters instead. Who wants to grow grass when you can grow flowers.

Don’t misunderstand, I think a lawn has its place. I just don’t see the need for a whole yard of it. I have a wide strip of green in my back yard. It sets off the flowers, gives my two little dogs room to run and play, and takes only ten minutes to mow.

But my passion is flowers and a myriad of critters reward me with their visits as they come to dine. The butterflies hover all over the Lantana and Cone Flowers. The hummingbirds love the Turks Cap. I once stumbled upon a turtle feasting on a mushroom. I don’t know what the bunnies are eating, but they’re not doing any noticeable damage and I enjoy seeing them scamper through the flowers. There are other guests ranging in size from dragonflies, honeybees, and lizards to squirrels and an occasional raccoon.

I love listening to the morning chorus and the evening serenade, so I also provide food, water and shelter for the birds. Last fall I discovered a hummingbird nest in one of the Japanese Maples. I have numerous bird baths, but all the birds seem to flock to one particular fountain. Two crows have an unusual use for the fountain. They bring food to it. They leave the food in the top section for hours or sometimes over night. Are they softening the food up? I don’t know. The first thing I noticed was half a slice of pizza. I’ve seen lots of different treats there in the last couple of years. Once they brought a Hardee’s bag with part of a hamburger. They never forget to retrieve their bounty and never leave a mess.

All this activity right out my back door provides me with a great deal of pleasure. I sit with my coffee in the morning and sweet tea late in the evening and enjoy the free music and entertainment.

So what are you waiting for? Skip the lawn and provide a banquet for the wild life in your own back yard. Then sit back and enjoy. All you have to do is plant it….they’ll come!

Happy Gardening!
Linda Newber

Hummingbird nest

Lizard sunning on Hydrangea

Crows fountain