What I Did Different With My Container Plants Last Fall

So today is February 1st. We’re getting closer to spring planting, for which I will be grateful. I’m tired of being cooped up inside with the cold weather.

I want to get out there and dig in my containers. Feel the sun on my shaved head and the wind in my face.

Last fall I did something different. Normally when the summer plants and herbs are starting to turn brown and dry, I take my clippers and snip the plants back close to the surface of the dirt.

But my back was not in good shape. So I decided to do something else.

I wondered if the dead foliage might provide cover for small animals and birds. So with that thought in mind, I left most of it standing instead of cutting it all back.

Now it looks pretty sad. But maybe, I’m thinking, some of the soft perennials might have had a better chance with the dead foliage protecting them from the cold. We’ll see.

I’ll cut it all back when spring weather is allowing the burgeoning green plants to appear in the soil.

What I’m Reading:

I am reading “In The Deep” by Loreth Ann White.

I hope you don’t find him. And if you do, I hope he’s dead and that he suffered…

After her daughter’s devastating death, a divorce, and an emotional breakdown, real estate mogul Martin Cresswell-Smith helped Ellie move as far as possible from the grief, the rage, and the monsters of her past.

Ellie imagines her new home with Martin in an Australian coastal town will be like living a fairy tale. But behind closed doors is another story—one that ends in Martin’s brutal murder. And Ellie seems almost relieved.

Naturally, everyone thinks Mrs. Cresswell-Smith is guilty.

Listening To:

The “Light House” CD by Jay Stocker.

I’m late getting this out. Charlie threw up on my quilt on the couch and I cleaned it up.

Got a phone call from a dear old friend in Texas who thought today was my birthday. It isn’t. But it was very kind of her to call. So we talked a bit.

Then I heard Carolina chickadees outside. I went out on the patio and saw two of them chasing each other in the tree branches.

What birds are you seeing in your neck of the woods?

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  1. In my part of Texas I am seeing large flocks of cedar waxwings. They are prolific berry eaters and they poo their berry droppings everywhere. Still, I think that they are pretty.

    I didn’t cut back anything in my containers so there are lots of dead leaves in the pots. The wrens seem to love it that way.

  2. If you need more piano music, I highly recommend Bruce Livingston. http://www.brucelevingston.com/about
    He’s from my neck of the woods.
    Not seeing any different birds here….just the usual robins and blue jays. Spring usually brings a few more species we rarely see. I’m so looking forward to that!

  3. I love all your plants and was thinking of getting some. I love watching the birds too. I was wondering if you ever got the back brace from Amazon. I need one and was thinking of getting it but wondered what you thought of it. Thanks Brenda!

    1. Yes, I wore the back brace I ordered from Amazon for several weeks every single day until I got to where I could walk without it. It helped a lot.

  4. I love all your indoor plants! I’ve been thinking about adding a touch of greenery to my home.
    I was out walking Cooper early one morning recently and we approached a tree we could hear lots and lots of birds deep in the branches. I couldn’t see the birds but they were chirping like crazy. It was a wonderful sound and made my day.

  5. I never cut down my perennials in the fall. I leave the foliage up all winter as they provide protection for overwintering bees, frogs and rabbits, as well as shelter for the birds. Plus I’ve read most perennials should be cut to the ground in spring, not fall.

    I have two feeders here – one right outside my living room window and the other in the back of the house. I can view that one out the window of the guest room. We have tons of cardinals, chickadees, juncos, sparrows, woodpeckers, house finches, starlings and a few mourning doves. Just yesterday during our snow storm, I saw a robin! First one I’ve seen all winter. I love the bird feeders we have. We got them from one of those small, private bird stores. It’s wrought iron with a spoke in the middle. Has a heavy thick plastic dome that screws on the top. The food that goes on the spoke is a big, compacted, solid piece that consists of all kinds of seeds and meal worms. It is sprayed in a cayenne pepper spray so that rodents (squirrels, mice, rats, chipmunks) are repelled by it. But birds aren’t – they don’t have a sense of smell! (I never knew that until the lady at the bird store told me about it.) This was the perfect solution for us as squirrels were always getting into our other feeders and eating the whole container in one day, leaving none for the birds. And the seeds would fall to the ground and attract chipmunks, which have been destroying our property. Granted, these feeders were expensive and the food can be pricey too (I now get it through Amazon), but it’s worth every penny to us. Another good thing about these feeders is that if anything goes wrong with them, the bird store fixes it for free or if they can’t fix it, they replace it.

  6. My mom had trouble with rats eating bird seed so you are wise to avoid it all together. Your foliage is helpful to the birds. I do the same as you and do not clip back in fall so wildlife has some refuge against prey and weather. I also cleaned a quilt just the other day from my cat. Once in awhile he throws up for two Or three times which I think it’s to bring up hairballs and then he is off and playing again. He’s done it for so many years I am just use to it now.

  7. I cleaned Bogie’s barf this morning from the bedroom quilt. Bogie is my rescued Shi tzu mix that has a sensitive tummy. Quilt is in the washing machine after the bile spots pre treated and soaked. He finally ate some breakfast. Another day in the life of a pet mom!

    We have loads of bluebirds this winter, a lot of wrens and sparrows, some blue jays and strangely, no cardinals. Usually, year round we have tons of cardinals. I wonder why none are around now. You are smart to not put up a bird feeder
    because of the critters from Sonic. I am still freaking out over the disclosure of your neighbor having to move to another apartment because of snakes in the walls! I don’t put feeders up because of the squirrels. I have yet to find or make one that is squirrel proof.
    Even if it isn’t your birthday I want to wish you a Happy Day!

  8. I gave chickadees, Carolina Wrens, mourning doves, cardinals, blue jays and crows & ravens . The last four come for the peanuts I put out and, of course, the squirrels come to feast on them as well.

  9. We are snowbirds from Iowa in Florida. Lots and lots of robins which is normal for this time of year. The area has red crested cranes that roam our yards. They make such a racket, but are such a delight to watch walk in such skinny legs and knobby knees. I love to sit outside and read, but saw a few vultures and thought I had better move around before the mistook me for a meal. Mary

  10. We have an occasional cardinal. And the bird on the top of the tree in my backyard. Just one bird sits there.

  11. I’ve been seeing lots of bluebirds. I’ve never seen them here before. Also Carolina chickadees, cardinals, red-bellied woodpeckers, goldfinches, mourning doves, starlings, titmouses, house finches and sparrows.
    I have loads of birds at my feeders this time of year,

    1. I’d love to put feeders out, and I still often consider it, but I’m afraid the rats at the Sonic just behind me and the other restaurants there would just come over here and eat my bird seed. I don’t want to entice them.

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