The Bee Garden Master Plan

I’ve wanted bees in my garden since I moved to Casa del Duckie. They are good for the environment, good for the garden, and a good source of ingredients for other projects. They are also something that will need a lot of care and planning to keep healthy and safe. While I may seem to just jump into things, I really do carefully plan my large projects well. The bees are no different.

There are actually two different projects within the bee project- the bee corral and the bee garden. Because bees need a source of nutrition and water, I need to step up my gardening game and create a bee oasis in my back yard. Which gives me an excuse to plant more exciting things. Here is the master garden plan for the bee corral.

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Bee Corral

Happy Spring!

Despite a first day of Spring snowstorm and two days of work from home time, things are chugging along at Casa del Duckie in anticipation of the bees, which are officially coming on April 7.

The first task on April 7 will be transporting the bees from the apiary to my back yard. In my car. Box full of bees. For 25 minutes.

That part I am a bit worried about.

But then I get to come home and suit up and introduce them to their new home. I am planning to live stream the introduction on Facebook, and then put the video up here later on.

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Garden Time

I may have the best intentions all the time, but I am flaky as all hell. I don’t mean to be, but I just have so much going on all the time that I forget things that are not directly in front of me. This even extends to gardening, where I will forget to plant or transplant things in the right order and then have them die on me. It happened last year with me with beans that were planted way too late. I’m also the type of person that depends on technology to keep my head straight. Without a smart phone, I wouldn’t remember what day it is, lest remember what I am doing during the weekend three weeks from now.

Sometimes, the stars align and I find a tool that is perfect for my needs. This came in the form of Burpee’s Garden Time app. I downloaded it to check it out about a month ago. It has been a good tool for planning my garden and seems like it will keep me on track this growing season. Continue reading

Ready, Set, Garden!

Spring may not be here officially yet, but that is not going to stop me from starting up my garden. Despite some last minute snow a week ago, the weather has been wonderful and I have been out in my garden getting things ready.

Plans for this year include some exotic peppers, some non-edible crops, and two new raised beds, which are all built and anchored. I even took it a step up and made an L-shaped raised bed for the front of my property using the same pallet technique I used to build my other raised beds. I only made them one piece of wood tall this time, as I did with the other raised beds I made last summer and did not blog about. So now I have a whole bunch of raised beds on the south side of my property, and one on the southwest corner in the front yard.

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Tree Murderer

I am a tree murderer. Yes, I confess to my crime of cutting down over 20 innocent saplings, who were just yearning to be beautiful maples one day. And I don’t regret it for a moment.

When I finally found the energy to explore the back of my property where all the trees are, I was delighted to find numerous baby trees. I was excited to let some of them grow where they stood and move others to more amenable places to live out their happy tree lives. I even posted them on Freecycle and Craigslist, knowing I could not keep them all. I wanted them to go to good homes.

Then I found out what they really were.

Someone contacted me from a nature center in the area, interested in the trees for giveaways at an upcoming event. I chatted with them for a bit and sent them a picture so they could identify the type of maple I had. I thought they were Sugar Maples, which are the type that produce syrup and are native to this region. Between me and the naturalist, we identified the trees as Norwegian Maples, which are, as you can imagine, not native since they are from Norway. They are invasive to the area, taking up resources that local maples and oaks need.

While my stance on human immigration is quite liberal, my thoughts on plant immigration are not. I cut all those suckers down! Twenty-five invasive trees between one and five feet tall were plucked from my property. While I felt a little bad for cutting down trees, I know I am doing the right thing. And there are about the same amount of white oak saplings, which are native to the area, springing up in the grass next to my driveway. Plus, two of my neighbors across the street offered their baby oaks to me for replanting. I promise that for every illegal maple I mowed down, I will replace it with a nice, home bred oak.

*sigh* Sometimes gardening is full of tough choices.

April Showers and May Flowers

Happy Spring! Its been a busy one already. But the sun is out, the temperatures are rising and soon it will be time to start moving my tomatoes and snap peas out into the garden. Even Agnes the Mighty, defender of my porch, is ready for it with her adorable raincoat.

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I am goose, hear me roar!

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