Okay, there is not a bee in sight in my garden here in the northwest corner of Rhode Island but that doesn't mean I am not thinking of them along with the birds and the butterflies and the flowers they love. The butterflies are also long gone but the birds are flitting about the cotoneaster and the bird feeders. I do have many bird houses about the garden and I have mason bees. They like to drill holes in the eaves of the house and the shed to lay their eggs. I really would rather they pick somewhere else to get this task accomplished. As a gardener and a nature lover I do sometimes receive gifts for birthdays and holidays which are meant to reflect my love of both. They are always appreciated. Any of these shelters from Gardener's Supply would be welcome in my garden. They are attractive as well as havens for some of the wildlife here. I was recently asked by Gardener's Supply to participate in one of their product giveaways.They sent me three wonderful, organic looking bamboo items. A bird house, a butterfly shelter and a mason bee house. All are offered on the Gardener's Supply website and they can be purchased together or separately there. Do you have mason bees? They are workhorses in the pollination department and many of the species are native to the United States. You can learn more about them here or here. I don't mind them when they are buzzing about the small, round openings they have created in my rafters. They are solitary creatures. I would prefer them to make their homes elsewhere. I have seen them burrow into the east facing wood and the west facing wood and some holes are under an overhang while others are just slightly recessed in a fascia board. With the help of Gardener's Supply, I am giving away some of the mason bee houses right here, right now. To enter, leave a comment below about the bees in your garden. Winners will receive one of these bamboo mason bee houses shipped directly from Gardener's Supply. You have almost a whole week to leave a comment but you must live in the USA and you must be over 18. Winners will be chosen at random on December 23rd. Make sure you leave your email address when you share a comment so that I may contact you.
Note: Gardener's Supply sent me the three bamboo shelters at no cost to me and they will provide the winning prizes. Many thanks to them. I would also like to note that I have purchased directly from them on many occasions and they deliver with great customer support.
The grass is still green here...when it is visible. We have had two rather small snow events and right now there is no snow left on the garden. The witch hazel is 'last man standing' so to speak. This native, Hamamelis virginiana, has a very long bloom span. It takes little notice of the cold and continues to add a bit of brightness to the dulling landscape. I have been puttering a bit outside. Last week I planted garlic and raked the final drops from the oak trees. I also pulled all but two containers inside. Most of them I empty, sort and stack. There are a few I drag into the barn and put them under lights where they remain all winter. Two large cordylines are in there and a few more pots, two with dormant Eucomis in them. These plants would be expensive to replace and they do survive, if not thrive with this treatment. Since last week was Thanksgiving I hunted for material for an arrangement for the table and one for the wall in the bathroom.
I managed to pull together assorted greenery and purple beautyberries but there was no real focal point so I purchased white alstroemeria. These flowers may come from a far away field but they do last quite a long time in an arrangement. I cheated with them just a bit. I am working at 'Slow Flowers'. I promise to write about that subject in the near future. For now, enjoy the small treasures you find in the garden. They might be overlooked in the summer when color is abundant.