I’ve complained before about the hassle of bird feeders in my tiny townhouse garden, where the shit-stained baffle isn’t doing the job of keeping squirrels away as these world-class gymnasts simply vault from anything nearby to the feeder. I then complained that hummingbird feeders are too much of a commitment for me.
Finally, I gave up and declared that my garden is NOT for the birds after a neighbor complained about the flocks attracted to the feeder hanging out and crapping from nearby branches over her car.
So this year, the old hook held up a cheap basket of petunias that looked amazing for months, with just a bit of trimming and only two feedings. Next season I may get more adventurous in my plant choices, but maybe not. I’m fine with cheap, common annuals in colors I like.
But I DID find a way to feed some birds with this simple thistle feeder hanging a few feet from my porch, for prime viewing of the goldfinches at the feeder and the mourning doves below it. It works because squirrels don’t like the stuff.
The feeder puts on a great show for my cats, too. Like me, they live on the porch half the year.
Look, it holds up to five finches at a time!
Next, the flags. All last winter I experimented with dyeing and sewing garden flags to hide an unsightly view, and you last saw the “Garden Flag Reveal!” in April when the flags looked like this:
But just two months later they had turned into this:
The fading was fast and furious, even though I’d used Procion dyes, the most colorfast ones I could find. Tie-dyed T-shirts are one thing; garden ornaments in full sun are another. And the wind didn’t help.
So in the goldfinch photos above you see flags that I sewed from cheap sheets, taupe-colored to match the shed. And this time, I secured them at the bottom so the wind doesn’t flip them over. The sheets may fade, too, or be brought down by a blizzard. By spring, I might be ready to abandon flags forever – if my coop will allow a bit of lattice instead. Sure would be easier, and better looking, too.
And this winter I’ll try my hand at dyeing things that won’t be hanging in the sun – scarves!Posted by Susan Harris on December 23, 2016 at 7:14 am, in the category Real Gardens.