Site That Inspires Me: February

196171592 2deff48885 300x199 Site That Inspires Me: February

February’s “Site That Inspires Me” is A Tidewater Gardener‘s Blog. The site is run by a Nursery Manager named Les, who shares his daily musings in and around his garden, and who’s photography is beautifully prolific in all of his posts.  Whether photographing some of his rarer plants at home, or photo-journaling his travels to nearby historical sites, his blog is personal and intimate feeling. Les’ “Tidewater Gardener” site makes the everyday journaling style of blogging appealing and classy, and gives out a few gardening ideas along the way. 

If you are in the mood for a laid back trip through Virginia, check out his site for a quiet moment away from it all.

Photo Courtesy of: Tom@HK

Playing Naturalist

blue bird1 225x300 Playing Naturalist As always at this time of year I am overly eager to begin spending more time out of doors, but since the weather isn’t cooperating yet, I spent most of today playing naturalist at work, and elimiating the avian housing crisis in the reforestation areas and grasslands that I’m responsible for. Every few years the bird and bat houses we built and placed warp and rot, so February is official “housing boom” month, and I’m making sure that all forty of our houses are in tip top shape, and cleaned out for new residents!

Thus far I’ve only had to replace four bluebird houses and one bat house on site, but we relocated a few bluebird houses for good measure to discourage the sparrows from moving in again like they did last year. Sparrows, as I’ve discovered, have a tendency to use Bluebird Boxes that are too close to areas where there are birdfeeders, or easy handouts, and have been plaguing the Bluebird houses near our storm water retention ponds. Unfortunately, while they clean up the cracked corn and bread left by visitors for the Swans and ducks they’ve bumped the Bluebirds out of a few houses, and need evicting this year. The nest box pictured above was one of the ones that needed moving due to the amount of interest the Sparrows are showing it already!

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A Magic Bean Review: They Aren’t Just In Fairytales Anymore

beancan 300x300 A Magic Bean Review: They Aren’t Just In Fairytales AnymoreStill looking for a cute Valentines Day gift? This year your gift giving options are that much better because you can take a literal cue from the Fairytales, and buy Magic Beans (giant not included) for someone special in your life! Magic Beans are gaining popularity this year as quirky gifts that hold all the appeal of common ‘message hearts’ candy and a potted plant, all rolled into one neat bundle, and they can be quickly shipped for the last minute buyer.

A form of living valentine, the gift-ready product comes pre-planted in a special container for about $5, and requires only water to grow in the potting medium. As the plant germinates, the message “I Love You,” appears written on the plants first buds to surprise and fascinate the object of your desire. The message stays on the plant’s leaves throughout the entire annual lifespan of the plant, and makes a cute gift for a significant other, or one of the lucky kids in your life.

How Does The Message Appear?

The method used to create the message on the leaves isn’t new, and simply requires a technique known as “scarification” to be applied to the seed itself. To make it work, the bean seed is etched with words or images which in turn appear on the growing plant as the seed casing sluffs off. Viola, a magic plant!

Can I Buy Beans With Other Messages?

For those of you preferring to create your own packaging, and who like your beans in bulk, you can check out this separate website and buy beans with multiple messages, and a variety of engraves images. The bean bundles come in groups of ten loose beans for DIY plantings, and cost $1.45.

sku 3051 2 small A Magic Bean Review: They Aren’t Just In Fairytales AnymoreAside from being guaranteed to work, and germinating quickly, these little beans are a charming way to share a simple message and the warm thoughts behind it. The beans are guaranteed to put a smile on someone’s face this February, and they are a cute way to “green” up your Valentines Day. I think these beans are a pretty sweet idea, and an inexpensive gift to boot.  I give two thumbs way up to these seeds!

Algae May Be The Next ‘Green’ Biofuel

1311481940 f07018efa5 300x225 Algae May Be The Next ‘Green’ Biofuel

Summer weather usually triggers a season-long battle with algae and pond scum in the waterfalls and ponds that I manage, but according to MIT, the future of green technology may be just as entangled with these easily grown plants.

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