How is your HAPPY HABITAT this Summer?

How is your HAPPY HABITAT this Summer?

I was working in my garden on Sunday, planting fall veggies and harvesting, when I heard my husband calling me. “Come here!” he said. I walked over to

the entrance to our courtyard to find him staring in amazement at the garden. “What is that tall orange flower?” he asked me. It was Mexican sunflower, Tithonia, growing in the center of a raised bed filled with pole beans and zucchini squash. He had been simply standing there watching the butterflies nectar on the flowers for a long time. Yes, I finally planted Tithonia in my yard and BOY does it work well smack dab in the middle of the veggies. And when my husband notices, you know it’s a true action plant.

Eastern black swallowtail caterpillars on bronze fennel growing on Diane’s deck. It’s the same at my house, they are everywhere on my fennel and my dill. 
So how is YOUR Happy Habitat doing this summer? I have to say I have

This is an amazing picture of an Eastern black swallowtail chrysalis on the fennel on Diane’s deck. 

never seen so much life in my yard as I am seeing right now. Each day there are pairs of monarch butterflies visiting the milkweed, tons of yellow and black swallowtails on all the zinnias, and everywhere I look there are eggs and caterpillars. Diane reports the same thing. She and I are not only raising monarchs inside in boxes, but outside our larval food plants are covered with eggs and caterpillars.

The birds are also as happy as can be as my “Enchanted Sunflower Forest” has grown right back up again. The goldfinches eat the seeds, drop them, and every year for the past 14 years they re-sprout and grow again. I trim them up and make them into giant sunflower trees. It is so much fun!
Hummingbirds are also happy. I found out on

Monday that they nectar on cucumber flowers! Wow! They are no longer afraid of us and come right to the deck where I have planted a banquet of their favorite nectar flowers including Salvias, Agastache, and zinnias. Man, zinnias are the ROCK STARS of the garden, all of the creatures love them. You just can’t have enough zinnias in my opinion.

If you want to see more hummingbirds, stop in and refresh your containers. We have gorgeous plants including red Pentas and purple Verbena bonariensis. 


The secret to enjoying the life in your garden is to SIT. I have sitting spots all over the yard. In summer, I move from shady spot to shady spot when I want to take a break. It is so relaxing to just be quiet, listen to the cicadas and birdsong, and watch life happen. One of my new favorite perches is under my maple tree where I can watch all the birds diving into the elderberry bush and gobbling up the berries. Talk about an action plant! Elderberries are so good for all of us. You can harvest them, clean them, freeze them, and then save them to make syrup for the winter months.
The timing is PERFECT: Plant your fall veggies this week!
NOW is the exact time to plant your fall veggies. We have organic veggie seedlings in stock and they are selling fast. They won’t be here for long, so make it a point to stop in this week. Broccoli, kale, cabbage, arugula, Swiss chard, beets, dwarf Sugar Snap peas, escarole, and Brussels sprouts are in the house. It’s a bit warm for lettuce, but that will be coming soon.
Don’t forget the floating row covers, hoops, compost, organic fertilizer, and SEEDS. My trick is to put in plants and sow seeds at the same time, especially with escarole and lettuce. The

Try Smart Pots now for your fall veggies. They are on sale at 20% off! We have several sizes!

Smart Pots are on sale 20% off and I am now planting carrots and beets in all of mine. It makes growing them so much easier. In late fall, I will simply put a heavy-duty tomato cage in the Smart Pot and wrap it to gain an extra few weeks to a month of additional growing time after frost arrives.

This week on Facebook Live I will be talking about all the things you can do to have a great fall garden including planting cool season veggies, starting a compost pile in our new Compost Saks, and sowing cover crop seeds to smother weeds and prepare new beds. I will also explain the concept of Passive Bed Preparation. Sounds dreamy, doesn’t it?

Make time to come and visit us during our Open Days, Wednesday thru Sunday. Sit a while in our Peace Pole garden and observe the life in our abundant, lush organic oasis. Instead of having workshops this weekend, we have decided it’s time to have a big SALE! Diane and her team will be running around, marking plants down as we make room for…wait for it…MORE plants! Yup, we are getting in a giant shipment of new plants this week too. Out with the old and in with the new. We are expecting lots more milkweed and other forms of Asclepias, some of my favorite August natives such as vervain and ironweed, lots of mountain mint, the first of our fall anemones and toadlilies, and fresh crops of bee balm and coneflowers. We are starting to stock various native fall asters and perennial mums too. Get them in the ground now and they will be established and blooming when you really want them, late September thru early November.

See you this week..


P.S.  IT’S TIME FOR SALES!!! We don’t have many sales but when we do, they are GOOD ONES! 
Besides our ever-growing 1/2 off sale bench……
Other sales include- 30% off Nepetas, Buddleias, Hydrangeas, Astilbes, Elderberries, Blueberries and more!
50% off Roses, Irises, Daylilies, and much more! (FYI-a few tidbits from our 50% off bench are a few Oak trees, Delphiniums, Spring wildflowers and so much more!)
Listed plants on sale from Wed 8/7 until Wed 8/14. In stock plants only.
Smart Pots 20% off
Organic Avenger weed killer 30% off
48″ Tomato Cages on Sale for $15!
Heavy duty, fold flat easily for storage