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Moving Schipka Laurel for Rhododendron 'Loderi King George'

Picture it - a 6 ft. tall Schipka Laurel used to stand here (I forgot to take a "before" shot and don't feel like searching for one).  I knew when I planted it that it was probably a bad idea but thought it would be good for a fast-growing screen along the back fence-row. I'm sure all gardeners do this, especially if you have a new garden and are eager for greenery. In all fairness to the laurel, it is a useful plant and I would argue even a beautiful one when nicely maintained. Before I dug this one up, I stood back and admired it and felt the guilt pangs stabbing at my heart.  I removed a much larger laurel than this a few years ago and they are not the easiest plant to dig out. I was determined to save this one and I believe I was successful.  Here is a thought and you can take this to the bank - the pot you choose to hold a plant that you dig up will ALWAYS be too small. Always!  So, after finding the largest pot I could, here it is, after being cut back pretty dr

Attracting Birds, Butterflies, And Other Backyard Wildlife - A book review

Every day, it seems that there is another dire story in the news about the environment and the future of the planet. Bee populations are in decline and monarch butterflies have decreased by 80% in the past 20 years. Various causes are at play but the most obvious is that natural habitats are being eliminated. It seems that every time I venture out, I see another tract of trees being cut down to build houses so close together that it looks like the future residents would have very little room to grow anything. It is disheartening and alarming especially when no one seems to care, even government officials.

I know that gardeners do care, however, and as bleak as it seems, we press on and the majority of us do what we can to bring wildlife into our gardens. It can be a daunting task, however, and I confess that I am just learning things such as how to attract mason bees to the garden.

Attracting Birds, Butterflies, and Other Backyard Wildlife by David Mizejewski (a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation), was first published in 2004 has just been reissued in a second edition. This excellent book, illustrated with more than 200 photographs, shows how homeowners can create backyard sanctuaries that will entice a wide variety of wildlife to the garden.


  • Developing a garden design
  • Identifying and understanding the importance of native plants
  • Providing food for wildlife - how to choose the right plants, supplementing with feeders
  • Projects and recipes for feeders and food
  • Creating water features
  • Importance of plants for cover and protection
  • Nesting and housing materials
  • Sustainable gardening practicies (composting, water conservation)
  • How to have your garden certified as a wildlife sanctuary
This updated edition includes information about neonicotinoids, aggressive and invasive species, and new and updated information about gardening practices.

Well illustrated with lists, graphs, drawings and photos, this is a book that is both educational and very inspiring.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


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