Happy Habitat Day!

Happy Habitat Day!

Guess what? We are SO very excited that our all-day Have a Happy Habitat Day event is this Saturday. The weather is cooperating and we expect to have a fabulous day of classes, beautiful pictures, and information. Kathy Connolly (shown above) is speaking on meadows, large and small. We have been trying to

coordinate this for a long time. You may read her columns in the local papers. Perhaps you went on her CT meadow tour last summer. Even if you think you don’t have room for a meadow in your yard, consider a “mini-meadow”. 

I will start the day off explaining the basics of designing your yard to enhance habitats for all creatures, above and below the soil, large and small. Part of analyzing your yard is considering how much lawn you have, how you take care of your lawn, and things that you can do to reduce your lawn and provide other types of habitats. I have been working on this new presentation non-stop for days, it is consuming me! 

Following my design class, Natureworker and avid birder Suzanne Hauselt is giving a talk on How to Build a Happy Bird Habitat for You and the Birds. I adore the birds in my yard and know that watching them and

feeding them in the winter really helps me get through the season. BUT, there is so much more to birdscaping. Once the spring comes, the birds need insects- and they will eat TONS of them from your yard. Guess what that means. Your garden will be patrolled by these winged creatures. It’s enjoyable to watch and listen as they do their work.

In the afternoon, Natureworker Eliza Caldwell will be giving a talk aboutBlending Annual and Perennial Flowers into the Vegetable Garden. This too is an important part of creating a Happy Habitat as flowers provide so much nectar and pollen for beneficial insects (who attack the bad bugs), all of our pollinators, AND they are beautiful too. 
Walk-ins are welcome. The class is being held at the Zion Episcopal Church in North Branford. If you are not pre-registered, please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in. New this year, our classes offer re-certification credits for NOFA Certified Organic Landcare Practioners AND for DEEP Pesticide Management Program Credits. This is BIG NEWS as you can now take our classes, that focus so much on organic and sustainable growing and design, and get recertification credits for doing it. We are thrilled and honored. For more details, please Click Here.
Naturally we will be bringing all kinds of new books, seeds, organic seed starting supplies, our wonderful new bird feeding products, mason bee houses… so come prepared to learn and to shop! Click Here to see all the details. 

We have a wonderful new line of high quality, all-natural bird feeding products. It is so important to provide protein to the birds as the mating season begins. We will be bringing this to the church this Saturday. Bluebirds, woodpeckers, and many birds you may not normally see love this! 

Speaking of seeds, we have restocked our seeds after the flower show and will be bringing a lot of them to the church. Grab your breadseed poppy seeds this Saturday because next week is going to be in the 50’s. Once the ground is visible, you can sow them directly on the cold soil. We usually sow ours around the week that Natureworks opens, which is the first day of spring, which is IN TWO WEEKS! Wow!
We also will have all kinds of milkweed and other Asclepias seeds with us at the church. We believe that an integral part of a happy habitat, no matter what size, is to provide larval food plants for the butterflies. Not everyone has room for common milkweed, but there are so many other options. We can help you sort out which Asclepias is right for you. 

Starting seeds indoors is something that lots of gardeners do. Right now you should be starting your cool season crops indoors such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and celery. Diane is using our new propagation kit at home to grow nutritious microgreens for her family. Click Here to watch a short video that she just did explaining how easy it is. 

You should start your warm season crops such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers in late March. Some seeds can simply be sown outdoors either in early spring for cool season crops or starting in mid-May for heat lovers. We have tons of information to share with you about all of this AND Eliza is giving two Seed Starting workshops in the Natureworks greenhouse at the end of March. Information on these and other Natureworks workshops being held in the greenhouse has just come out. See below for the details and sign up soon as space is quite limited. Lettuce and Alyssum bowls anyone? Want to learn how to start and grow and save Dahlia tubers? Isn’t the idea of growing things again so exciting? 

So don’t let the snow get you down. There is so much happening in the month of March to keep you focused on getting growing. March 16th is the Master Gardeners Conference. The first day of spring is March 20th and Natureworks will open full time for the 2019 growing season on that day. Come celebrate with us! March 23rd we will have two great classes back at the church- Garden Maintenance and Pruning. And then it will be April, and the party really gets going. April 6th is Grow Food Day at the church. Thus the year begins, blossom by blossom, the earth will thaw, the bulbs will bloom, and we will soon be outside, playing in the dirt once again. 
I really hope I see you this Saturday at Have a Happy Habitat Day. Treat yourself to this late winter event. Don’t miss this, it’s going to be a great time and you will go home totally inspired.
Soon the Iris reticulata bulbs will be in bloom. They always are in flower the week we open, which is in 2 weeks!