Monthly Archives: March 2013


Canna 'Tropicanna'

Canna ‘Tropicanna’

Nothing beats Cannas for a punch of dramatic color and beautiful foliage.  I find cannas extremely trouble free and easy to grow.  Native of South and Central America, they are not hardy in our area, –  zone 5-6 –  so it is necessary to dig the rhizomes before winter.  I generally do this right after the first frost, then store them in a frost free area of a basement or garage.   As I unwrapped them this morning here is how they looked.  Hard to believe they are even alive!

Canna rhizomes after winter dormancy.

Canna rhizomes after winter dormancy.

These are four times as many as I planted last spring and the product of just one plant I purchased at a box store in 2011.  I expect to have a respectable patch of cannas this year!  I will let them sit in a bit of water for a day and then plant them in individual pots to get them started indoors.  This will get them a head start and hopefully, they will bloom earlier and we can enjoy them longer in the garden.

“The earth is a garden and each of us only need care for our own part for life to be breathed back into the planet, into the soil, into ourselves.”

-John Jeavons

Habitat Fragmentation

Habitat Fragmentation1

Habitat fragmentation is, in my opinion,  one of the biggest unnatural calamities that our native wildlife has sustained in the last century.  Land development and suburban sprawl  has been taken place all around us at the expense of wildlife habitat.  Miles upon miles of roads and highways, blacktops in the form of parking lots, shopping centers and driveways, and huge expanses of lawn are added every year in our country alone.  Read the statistics as presented by Dr. Douglas W.  Tallamy Wildlife Ecology and Entomologist professor at the University of Delaware,
in this post.

I know, a lot of bad news, if you care.  And I care.  That is why I have Changed the way that I garden and hopefully persuade you to do the same, in any big or small capacity that you can.  Here are some of the ways in which we can contribute to the survival of many species of insect pollinators, birds and small mammals in our gardens:

  • Go organic, start slow by limiting the amount of chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizes.  I make my case in this post “Why Organic?” .
  • Start a compost pile.  Why throw away good organic matter?  Check out my super easy compost system .
  • Create new garden beds that provide habitats and increase biodiversity in your garden.  It is easier than you think.  See this post
  • Incorporate more native plants into your landscapes.  Small trees, shrubs and perennials provide food and sheller to birds and pollinators.
  • Connect your garden beds to create ‘ribbons of vegetation’ so species can move within a wider range.  This allows small mammals, birds, and small invertebrates to find mates, food and shelter to improve biodiversity.
  • Provide water sources.  Even a small bird bath, a basin for water loving plants or any size pond, will increase sustainability and ensure the survival of many species.

“Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.” 
― Albert Einstein