Forum Role: Participant
Active Since: January 5, 2020
Topics Started: 0
Replies Created: 18

Forum Replies Created

Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    I have noticed a few bluebirds visiting my yard since I started to put in more native plants. Also, hummingbirds have been regular visitors since I planted Cardinal flowers. I never saw them much before this. I want to expand my Cardinal flower patch this coming year. I have more insects visiting my flowers overall - from serviceberry in early spring to mountain mint (wow! What a plant!) to asters in the fall. I would like to see more birds in general on my property - hope that the more work I do, the more I will see. But, my property is small and my neighbors show no interest in the plants and improvements, one neighbor commenting when was I going to get rid of my “weeds”. So my very small yard is sort of an oasis in a desert. I hope that will change.
    in reply to: Enjoy and Share #835868
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    Hi! Sounds challenging like my neighborhood. Are you worried about the fledglings? Some free roaming cats in my neighborhood have killed several fledglings. I asked the folks who had the cat to keep it indoors or in a catico but no luck there. So, I took my complaints to the town Board of Selectman, writing something that was presented on zoom, but they have done nothing. I also contacted animal control, but the control officer told me they should be doing the responsible thing, and keeping their cats inside, but he said I could do nothing except put up a large fence. Well, the cat still gets through the fencing that I have! So, I do not keep bird houses etc up for fear of more birds being taken. I am at a loss on how to proceed. I am putting in native plants for the pollinators and birds but I am very fearful for the birds. I wish the rights of birds were respected.
    in reply to: Dig In! #835858
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    I would like to create a new hedgerow in my backyard. I purchased a couple of elderberry plants first because I know they grow tall and would be great as a backdrop for the hedgerow. I have five very large invasive fire bushes that were planted by previous owners and have gotten really big. I started by cutting down most of one bush and was stopped by my neighbors behind me because they claim that the bushes are on their property. They said they are having a survey of their property done, but considering the price tag on having a survey, I think they will not have it completed. They just want me to go away. Other than getting my own survey (I am confident these invasives are within my property line) any other suggestions on how to proceed? Also, the neighbors said I could not plant elderberries because they attract bears. Any other suggestions for another large bush? I am sort of at a loss on how to proceed.
    in reply to: Dig In! #835857
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    I have both plants to remove and plants to put in. I am focusing on trying to remove some invasives from my property. There are a lot of them.  I am investigating how to create a natural hedgerow at the border of my property. I have a hedge that I share with neighbors of  invasive burning bushes that I would like to have removed. I would like to replace the hedge with a natural hedgerow (just read about the difference between the two) but have to wait while my neighbors determine their property edge. They want to keep their invasives. So, meanwhile I will have to plant several elderberry bushes somewhere else on my property so I have to determine where to put them. I read they do well near white pine but my white pine area create a lot of shade, so I am not sure that is the best place for them. Also, I would like to create a layering in my yard of bushes,, so I have to focus on creating a plan overall of my yard, focuses on plants that create food for birds all year round. It is an enormous task that will take a long time, so I will have to work on areas of the yard little by little. I have a hemlock tree that is being attacked by Hemlock Wooly  Adelgid (not sure spelling is correct). . Any suggestions on something ecologically friendly to get rid of them? I live in Connecticut - the Northeast - and know that a lot of Hemlocks are being attacked by this insect.
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    I need to definitely work on vertical diversity in areas of my yard. I also want to increase my offerings to birds especially during the winter months to provide more berries and more nuts. This will be a strong focus for me since in the past birds in my area have relied on the feeders I had out. Now I want to get away from feeders because of the number of diseases that seem to be affecting birds nationwide.
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    I read somewhere that mulching leaves - instead of allowing them to naturally break down - will kill some butterfly and other beneficial insect cocoons that overwinter in the leaves. In order for my front yard to look more tidy (and part of my back yard) I just rake the leaves under bushes and logs so that they are not noticeable. It seems to work. The leaves will break down during the winter months. I also cover plants up with the leaves to protect them from cold weather (I live in Connecticut) and place burlap around the plants so that it looks “neater” for the neighbors I have who like their tidy looking monocultures. I also have cats in my neighborhood - I am going to try working with our town council on that problem. I think the only way to approach that problem is to start to change the thinking of important decision makers in your town.
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    Wow! I love what you have done - so artistic. Keep up the good work. I too have problems - several neighbors own free roaming cats and will not bring them in. So, I am presenting at a town council meeting in a few weeks to propose a leash law for cats. There are several cities in the US that have these laws, but not nearly enough. I hope that I can somehow raise awareness, but I am not sure exactly how to go about doing it. . I don’t know if I will be successful in my home town changing thinking. I am not sure. It seems that some cat owners disregard the need or importance of native wildlife.
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    Wow Jim - Sounds like you have been doing a lot of improve your place. What is Nature’s Notebook? I see you have taken a lot of Cornell courses - was it something that was covered in one of them?
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    I have been trying to make sure that I have all of the components needed for birds in my yard - water, food, etc. I face a huge challenge though created by previous owners. I have shelter but the bushes I have against the edge of my back property are burning bush, which lines the entire back edge. The bushes are so huge, I cannot dig them out. I will have to hire, I think, someone with a bulldozer to take out the roots. I need to think about redesigning that entire space. I live in Connecticut. Any suggestions would be great. My neighbors behind me don’t want to see the plants go because they are a great screen, but the woods close to me are full of these invasives. So, I am looking for screening plants - some natives that get large - but also perhaps a few fruit trees to provide more food for the birds. I thought about vibernum but have read that the virbernum beetle has decimated many of the plants in this family in Connecticut.
  • Jenifer
    Participant

    @Olivia Afre Segui You have such a nice sprawling space to work with! Your options are practically unlimited!!

  • Jenifer
    Participant

    @MarianWhit I read somewhere that about 70% natives to 20-30% non natives is an ideal mix. Keep those roses if you love them and the ferns. But, perhaps there are some native ferns you could add. I read that there are good substitutes for pachysandra - native types of ground cover instead. I just have to find more local green houses that carry some of these plants. I have to spend a fortune on shipping from out of state and never know what shape the plants are going to arrive in.

  • Jenifer
    Participant

    @MarianWhit Yes, I read that in an article. How do you control them though? Any recommendations? I always worry about placement of hummingbird feeders (no feeders up now though) to avoid branches that come to close to the feeders.

  • Jenifer
    Participant
    Wow - I have never seen a yellow billed cuckoo! That is fantastic. I would love to attract them to my yard. I live in Connecticut. Any recommendations on plants that attracted them? I don’t think pecan trees easily grow so far north but last year I planted a peach tree. It seemed to do ok this past New England winter.
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    Hi! 41 acres - wow! It is wonderful to have that much land. There are great articles available on the internet including ones by Audubon that give recommendations for safe placements of feeders for birds. Those offer important guidelines.  It can be a life or death decision for a bird to visit feeders. Also, great guidelines for what foods to offer (and avoid) and for cleaning feeders. Recommendation - keep your feeders sparkling clean. I would clean my oriole and hummingbird feeders daily and clean out my seed feeders (10% bleach water) every 2-3 weeks. As you know, there is a disease plaguing birds in the south so Audubon is recommending that all feeders be taken down. I have put in some native plants in my yard - although I have a long way to go to get rid of most of my monoculture - so I am seeing more birds in my yard taking advantage of these plants than I would otherwise because I do not have my feeders up.
  • Jenifer
    Participant

    @Karen HI Karen - I am so hoping the same - that my neighbors will change their view on how to keep their yards. So far, that has not been the case. One of my neighbors has not been around much and his back yard was turning into a beautiful meadow (he had chopped down all of his trees). I asked the neighbor further down the road to not mow  his years (he does it because he can I guess) a small patch of it because the blue birds were accessing some bugs in that area. But he went ahead and mowed everything down in 5 minutes!!! So much for neighbors!

  • Jenifer
    Participant
    Hi Cynthia! Sounds nice. Make sure the sparrows you have are not house sparrows. They were an introduced species that outcompetes our natives. If they are house sparrows, reduce the size of the hole so that they cannot get in and re- nest. Smaller birds such as chickadees or wrens will then use the box. (If you live in the North East.) The size of the hole determines a lot!
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    I have a beautiful dogwood tree in my front yard that attracts migrating birds in the fall. But, it also attracts lots of starlings who eat more than their share. I have several pines that border my property that are beautiful. Feeder birds use them as a landing to go to and from my bird feeders. I put in a split rail fence on one corner of my property and it provides a beautiful border where I have put in some liatris and lobelias and also some creeping phlox. I would like to continue to develop that area with more plants. I also have a wisteria plant (not sure if native) that drapes across the top of the fence. I put in several small winterberry plants I am hoping will be larger and a larger serviceberry which is gorgeous. I would like to replace the border in the back of my yard that has burning bushes -enormous ones- that I unfortunately inherited from previous owners. They form a great barrier to not see neighbors in the back yard, so I would like to replace with natives that will grow large as well as some flowering fruit trees. Any recommendations - I live in Connecticut - would be great. I started by purchasing two elderberry bushes, but this task is overwhelming and expensive, so I am starting small.
  • Jenifer
    Participant
    The yard I live in has some pluses and some minuses in terms of trees, shrubs and plants. My yard has one large maple and several pines that border my small property on either side. I don’t have a lot of bushes for birds to hide in and build their nests in. One real minus is that the back yard border is lined with a bunch of very old invasive burning bush plants that my neighbor in back loves because it forms a really private barrier.  I would like to take these bushes out of the back but right now, I think I need a bulldozer to pull out the roots. It will be an enormous costly job that right now I don’t have the $ to do. But I will save up for this job and also would like to plan out what I would replace these plants with. There is not much privacy in my yard, and I will have even less when I take out these plants. I purchased two elderberry plants and would like to put them somewhere in the back. They are waiting for my to decide where I can put them; they are in enormous pots at this point. I have some homework here and any suggestions about replacement plants would be great - preferably bushes or small flowering native trees that can help replace this barrier. I have had a brush pile and a pile of logs which were originally going to be used in a fireplace, but the wood is too old and rotted. However, it has become a place where a skunk has set up shop and where a red squirrel lives and gathers pine cones from the trees. I also have some raspberry bushes one one side of my yard and planted a serviceberry there last year - what a beautiful shrub. I also planted a small peach tree in the corner of my lot near my split rail fence. I put in some plants along the fence including lobelia and liatris.  I put two winterberry plants (tiny) in my yard to try and get more berries for the birds. My goal is to replace the non natives in my yard with natives. I have a bird bath but realize I have been keeping it out in the open so I will move that to a shaded area under some trees. Overall, there is lack of privacy in my yard and I would like to create a private oasis - prettier and better planned. I have a small vegetable garden and have put most of my vegetables in, but still have some left to plant.  I try to mow sparingly and leave some grassy areas longer. I only rake leaves in some parts of my yard so that it looks ok to the neighbors who have very few plants and trees. One neighbor has asked us to take down a tree for no reason because they think it is too close to their house. We have trimmed the tree but we don’t believe in taking down trees for very little reason. Unfortunately, that is not the thinking of my neighbors. They frown on anything that looks “weedy” as well.
Viewing 18 posts - 1 through 18 (of 18 total)