Homing Pigeons

Homing pigeons are an amazing variety of domestic pigeon. They have been bred to find their way home from very long distances travelling at speeds from 50 to 90 miles per hour. They are sometimes referred to as carrier or messenger pigeons and have been used to send important information, even in war time communications.

Homing Pigeons at Sensible Gardening and Living

Researchers say the ability of homing pigeons to find their home is from a strong, natural instinct related to their use of smell, sight, an orientation with the earth’s magnetic fields and the ability to calculate the angle of the sun.

Homing Pigeons at Sensible Gardening and Living

Pure white pigeons are often used in “release dove” ceremonies, which is what we did in honor of my late Father. It was an amazing experience to hold these beautiful, athletic birds and release them into the sky.

Homing Pigeon at Sensible Gardening and Living

We released around 12 together and the first thing they did was congregate into a flock which circled us about 3 times. From there we thought they had disappeared but the handler told us to start clapping. Within a few minutes they were flying back over our release site giving us a final wave goodbye before heading for home.

Homing Pigeons at Sensible Gardening and Living

Home was about 1 hour away by highway travel, and the handler said they would be waiting for her at the homestead when she drove in. Amazing stuff!

White Doves at Sensible Gardening and Living

If you ever have the opportunity to be involved in a release by all means do it. The birds are truly beautiful and as soft as velvet in your hands. They are gentle as well as extremely strong. It’s also no wonder they are associated with love and romance, as pigeons are monogamous and mate for life.

Holding a white pigeon at Sensible Gardening and Living

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestTumblrStumbleUponRedditLinkedInDiggFlipboardShare

Potted Herb Gardens

Herbs are great in containers. With such a wide variety of decorative foliage and delicate flowers a patio or deck can be transformed from boring to attractive and functional.

herbs-sensible-gardening.jpg

 

With so many deer in our garden space I had to give up trying to grow my herbs in the garden and flower borders. There was just too much nibbling going on. By growing them in pots, I now have them on the veranda close to the kitchen door. They are not only safer there but are also extremely convenient for the cook.

herb-tags-sensible-gardening.jpg

You can use any type of container you want, at least 6 inches or larger. Use regular terra cotta or plastic flower pots, wooden boxes, enamel basins, baskets, barrels or even a colander. The only real requirement is that your container should have holes in the bottom for proper drainage.

Use fresh, nutrient rich potting soil, organic if possible. Give your pots a good cleaning, fill with soil and get ready to plant. If your nursery plants are slightly root bound, gently loosen the roots at the bottom of the soil ball. Set your nursery plants at the same level or slightly deeper than they were in the nursery pots. Water thoroughly.

soil-sensible-gardening.jpg

Suitable herbs for growing in pots are chives, parsley, sage, oregano, rosemary, bay tree and tarragon. When growing the more invasive herbs such as lemon balm, mint and oregano the containers will prevent them from smothering other plants. Such containers can even be potted right into the garden if you wish.

oregano-sensible-gardening.jpg

Herbs for Sunny Pots (these herbs can take full sun)

oregano / sage / rosemary / lavender / parsley / chives / basil

parsley-sensible-gardening.jpg

sage-sensible-gardening.jpg

Chives2-sensible-gardening.jpg

Herbs for Partial Shade Pots

lemon balm / mint / catnip / feverfew

mint-sensible-gardening.jpg

Growing Tips for Potted Herbs

Be sure to use your herbs regularly and keep them well pinched. When you regularly pinch 2 to 3 inches off the tips, your plants will remain nice and bushy. Pinching also prevents your herbs from flowering and going to seed.

Fertilize your herbs around every 3 weeks with diluted fish fertilizer or other organic fertilizer. Over fertilizing will give you lots of green leaves but without much taste or fragrance.

Water consistently and do not let your pots dry out.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestTumblrStumbleUponRedditLinkedInDiggFlipboardShare

Shady Characters Worth Knowing ( Great Shade Plants )

Since I garden in a very hot, dry area I always wish I had more shade in my garden. When we started this garden years ago I purposefully planted shade trees for the future and it has paid off. As the garden matures I now have more areas where I can enjoy the shade and grow many of my favorite plants.

Shade-Collage.jpg

In general shade plants do not offer as much bright and colorful flower power as the sun lovers, but they make up for it with their attractive foliage. Pretty flowers come and go throughout the season but attractive foliage is there for the entire time. As an added bonus, many shade plants also have beautiful blooms. I often hear gardeners say that shade plants are classy plants.

Ferns make me feel tropical, and there are ferns that will even grow in poorer dry soil. I’ve noticed our nurseries have been  bringing in many different fern varieties over the last few years.

ferns-sensible-gardening.jpg

FERNS / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Solomon’s Seal ( Polygonatum ) will even grow under trees. I love this plant with its arching stems and bell-like flowers.

shade-plant-sensible-gardening.jpg

SOLOMON’S SEAL / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Anemone is a large group of plants with a wide range of types. Generally they can be divided into 3 main groups: Daisy flowered, Poppy flowered and Japanese.

anemone-sensible-gardening.jpg

ANEMONE / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Hosta are a duel purpose plant, they offer both attracive leaves and spikes of trumpet shaped blooms.

hosta-sensible-gardening.jpg

HOSTA / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

 

 

 

 

 

 

hosta2-sensible-gardening.jpg

HOSTA / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brunnera ( Perennial Forget-me-not ) is beautiful with large sprays of small starry blue flowers. Equally as attractive are the various cultivars which have very decorative leaves.

brunnera-sensible-gardening.jpg

BRUNNERA / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

brunnera-sensible-gardening.jpg

BRUNNERA / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Bleeding Heart ( Dicentra ) is a popular old fashioned plant with ferny leaves and arching stems which bear pendent locket-like flowers.

bleeding-heart-sensible-gardening.jpg

BLEEDING HEART / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Astilboides is an excellent architectural perennial for gardens with lots of room and lots of moisture.

astilboides-sensible-gardening.jpg

ASTILBOIDES / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Astrantia ( Masterwort ) is a cottage garden plant with flowers having a frill of papery bracts at the base and a cluster of tiny flowers above. The leaves are deeply divided.

astrantia-sensible-gardening.jpg

ATRANTIA / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Coleus are very useful in both borders and planters. Very decorative leaves in many shades and patterns.

coleus-sensible-gardening.jpg

COLEUS / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

Thalictrum is a light airy plant for the back of the border. The leaves resemble maidenhair fern and the stems support large heads of tiny flowers. Thrives in partial shade.

thalictrum-sensible-gardening.jpg

THALICTRUM / SENSIBLE GARDENING AND LIVING

 

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+PinterestTumblrStumbleUponRedditLinkedInDiggFlipboardShare