Monthly Archives— May, 2014

Beneficial Insects Make for Organic Pest Control

Another Reason to Say No to Chemicals in Your Garden After four years of research, Rachel Carson brought the devastating side effects of wholesale use of the pesticide DDT to light with the 1962 publication of her environmental science book, Silent Spring. Because of challenges by U.S. chemical companies, it took nearly 10 years to… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • May 31, 2014

My Garden’s May Flowers

Hooray for April Showers! I could not resist sharing the beautiful flowers that grace my garden in May, and the beneficial pollinators and insects they attract, with this photo essay. We were conscious about planting to have a continual progression of blooms as close to year-round as possible. The garden is a riot of color beginning in… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • May 23, 2014

What’s in My Garden in May?

Veggies Are Coming Up—Can’t Wait for Harvest! Seattle’s growing season starts earlier than Syracuse, NY (where I grew up), and later than San Antonio, TX (where I lived for 15 years). Our growing season is relatively short, but our summer days are long. With a bit of effort, we’ll be eating fresh from the garden… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • May 13, 2014

Give from the Heart This Mother’s Day

Handmade Gifts Mean So Much! My favorite Mother’s Day gifts from my daughter were those she made herself—usually as part of a school art project. A hand-painted vase on my bathroom windowsill, a tiny hand-print cast in concrete in my garden, a ceramic-framed mirror in my bedroom—remind me of her on a daily basis. I… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • May 6, 2014

Time to Start Sunflowers

Sunny Annuals Create Food for Bees and Birds in Late Summer While weeding last week, I spotted my first volunteer sunflower pushing its way through the soil. That is always my signal to start my sunflower seeds for summer planting. I’ve learned to identify the pale green bi-leafed seeding and weed around it so it… Continue reading →

  • Words by Andrea Leigh Ptak
  • May 1, 2014
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