Some gardeners like to do their garden cleanup at the end of fall, while others prefer to put it off until spring. Both approaches have advantages, but delaying cleanup until spring is more beneficial to wild birds.
Standing seed heads are a natural source of food for birds in winter, while stems make good perches. Garden debris and spent plants provide cover for wintering insects. Some birds will be able to find these and eat them during the winter months; surviving insects will be a ready food source in spring. Early in that season, birds will also use twigs, dead grasses and other debris as nesting material.
If you prefer cleaning up the garden in fall, consider leaving a few seeding plants standing, perhaps in one section. Future revisions of your garden design could include “leave-alone” areas wherever you prefer. Instead of removing debris, consider making a brush pile the birds can use as shelter, or leaving small heaps of leaves and twigs for use by wintering insects and spring’s...
HERE’S AN ARTICLE FROM HORTICULTURE MAGAZINE ABOUT COMPOSTING PUMPKINS:
Can you compost pumpkins? Yes, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns can be added to the compost pile, but you will want to follow these tips for the best success. No compost pile? This post includes tips for garden uses for your leftover pumpkin, too.
First and foremost, if you’ve turned your pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern, be sure to remove candle wax and any non-natural decorations from it.
If you did not carve your pumpkin, scrape out the seeds. Pumpkin seeds that make their way to a compost pile may sprout and really prosper on the richness and warmth of the pile.
Next, break the pumpkin or jack-o-lantern into pieces. Toss the pieces onto the compost pile. Breaking it up helps the pumpkin break down faster.
You can also compost pumpkins in place. That is, if you don’t have a compost pile, you can simply chop up the pumpkin and bury the pieces in any part of your garden, where they will break down and enrich the soil.
Members of Garden Club of Chevy Chase had the pleasure of being invited to Chevy Chase House, a community for senior living, to join with residents in making beautiful Valentine’s Day bouquets, with red and white flowers donated by Trader Joe's in Bethesda. Residents tried their hand at flower arranging with design tips and helping hands from Garden Club members. The final arrangements were beautiful and by sharing a common interest through a special activity it was a joyful Valentine’s Day for all.
Members of Garden Club of Chevy Chase (GCCC) have found a way to enhance the Village parks. The GCCC Conservation Committee has joined forces with the Chevy Chase Village Parks and Green Spaces Committee to provide shrub-tagging throughout the Village parks, including the: Brookville Road Park, Little Triangle Park, Oliver Street Park, Buffer Area and the Betty English Garden. Members began tagging in their own Betty English Garden, a lovely small space located at the corner of Brookville Road and Oxford Street. Following the tagging of this area, members tagged shrubs in the Buffer Area. The Club has allocated funds to maintain and continue tagging in the other designated Village parks over the next two years. Susan Dixon, Conservation Committee Chair, says “the program aims to help educate community residents about the variety of shrubs placed throughout the Village Parks.
Early December 2018, just as they have for many years, members of Garden Club of Chevy Chase decorated the public rooms and entrance of the The National Center for Children and Families on Greentree Rd., Bethesda.
Members of the garden club also hosted a party for the children of families living at the Center, where the children enjoyed crafts, including decorating mini trees for their rooms and wreaths for their doors. The highlight was a visit from Santa, who distributed gift-filled stockings to each child, and a gift of bedding to each parent. GCCC is proud to support this wonderful neighborhood organization and the families it serves.