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Perfectly Imperfect Life..........

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

How to Recycle Halloween Pumpkins for Wildlife

One of my favorite parts of Halloween, is carving pumpkins.
My evening walks through the neighborhood are even better with the bright orange pumpkins, highlighting the colors of autumn, and showing off creative designs.

After the trick-or-treaters clear away, and Halloween is officially over, don’t trash your pumpkins! There are several ways to recycle them with wildlife and your garden in mind. How do you reuse pumpkins in your yard?

Compost Your Pumpkins
If you’ve carved a jack-o-lantern, it may already be decomposing. Pumpkins are 90% water, which means they easily and quickly break down. This makes them a great addition to your compost pile. Prevent unwanted pumpkin plants by removing the seeds first (set seeds aside for #3 and #5). If you don’t have a compost bin or pile, check your local government, nearby farms, or community gardens to see if they collect old pumpkins.

Make a Snack-o-Lantern
This is one of the most creative ideas I’ve seen to recycle pumpkins. You can turn your jack-o-lantern into a snack-o-lantern for wildlife! It’s fairly easy to make, and the squirrels and birds will love it.
Find out how to make a snack-o-lantern!
Leave Seeds for Wildlife
Large birds and small mammals will eat pumpkin seeds if you offer them in your yard. Collect seeds from your pumpkins, before composting them, and let the seeds dry. Please don’t add salt or seasoning. Place seeds on a flat surface, tray, shallow bowl, or mix in with existing bird seed in your garden.

Plant Pumpkin Seeds
The squash bee is one of many insects to pollinate pumpkin flowers. If you have room in your yard, you can save seeds for a harvest of pumpkins next year

Bee pollinating a pumpkin flower by Paul Gardner.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Major Fall Garden Clean Up

Life has been just a little crazy lately, so this post is slightly late...
I started a MAJOR garden Clean and Prune the beginning of October. Thinking I'd be done by November 1st when the city comes around and starts to pick up piles of garden waste you've put in the street.

I started in the backyard,
hauling the debris to the street.

As you can see the pile grows

and grows!
And that's just the backyard!

I thought I'd never say this but I did a Dad Prune on the whole garden!  A Dad Prune is when there's maybe about a foot of the plant/Roses left afterwards.
I usually just shape the plant back to a desired size
but not make it naked! LOL
But after 20 years, it was due.
I removed a lot of dead wood, the plants I lost from the drought last Winter, and removed all fallen leaves on the ground that were left from the last 20 years.

I have to say, the soil underneath the leaves was BEAUTIFUL!! Loamy and full of worms.

Back Garden Before

I removed a few small trees,

Pruned the Cherry back into shape and
limbed the Podocarpus way up
so the Apple and Rose of Sharon could get more sun.

There's a water fall in there some where :/

A Tangle of Grapes, Heavenly Bamboo, Roses and Buddleia

The gazebo was swallowed by the Honeysuckle
and climbing Cecil Brunner

Really, it's in there somewhere!

Clean as a whistle!


Moving all birdhouses and related items to side fence for a dry garden...darn drought.
Bunny Lane will be there too :)

The one thing we had left to do was trim the neighbors Weeping Willow, which we did the other day :)

Front Before

Lavender out of control!

Roses, Pomegranate and Rosemary taking over

Lambs Ears has gone wild!

Bike being engulfed by Rosemary

Front After
It's all cleaned up!
See what I mean by a Dad Prune?
But you can see my Spring Bulbs popping up,
nothing to get in their way.

All 20 years of leaves raked down to a
beautiful healthy soil with lots of Leaf Mold

Now I just need it to rain and all the trees drop their
leaves so my gardens can start it's next 20 years of compost.

 My pile is now double parked!
We still need to take down another tree and 
prune the big front Tree, then we'll be done.
The City finally showed up about the 15th to clear this pile.
But I have another started. he he! 



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