July fun! Dawn does Pinterest!

So I promised myself I’d have a little fun this summer, so I thought i’d do some Pinterest inspired crafts around the property. After such a suffocatingly hot (but beautiful!) week in Montreal, followed by endless horrible news coming from every direction, I needed a little distraction. Or at least, enough to feel like I’m accomplishing something. Sometimes, a simple, quick fix to being bummed out is just accomplishing something, no matter how small (as you will discover below)

One thing I noticed that was becoming well received is water. Every time I would water any garden, I discovered that nature comes in quickly to suck it up before the plants do. This includes flies, bees, wasps, butterflies. I watched a butterfly sit on a piece of mulch with its proboscis merrily poking into the crevices. This told me that I needed to make a puddler so  insects can get a drink they so desperately need when there are heat waves and very little rain to speak of. (When I first had this brainwave, it was dry. I came home to a rain gauge that said 40mm though, so it may not be so critical now. But it’s only July).

So I thought I would try a very simle bee puddler project. It was a pin I had pinned probably years ago, which leads me to a dead link today. But I’ll show you what I did.

I gathered up some materials, so if you wanted to make this same puddler, you need the following:

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  • A saucer (this one I think is about 8″)
  • decorative (or real) sand
  • gravel
  • A rock with a nice surface area.

 

 

So once you get them together, it’s ridiculously easy to slap together.

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Add it however you want, but I built mine like this, it’s kind of pleasing looking. According to the pin’s description, the small stones and the sand allow bees to sit and drink without drowning. The flat stone is there if a butterfly should also want to land, it can spread its wings and warm itself while drinking.

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A little water (or a lot, i guess in this case) gets added in. It will be very hard to rinse/refresh, so it doesn’t have to be too deep or full of water. You could allow it to evaporate a little. Critters don’t need that much, as I learned from the butterfly on the mulch.

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I added this one to my rock garden, added a little shim so it will stand level. Don’t mind the weeds! It looks nice now, and hopefully it won’t get wrecked by a torrential downpour too quickly.

That is a really simple little thing to do and enjoy that helps to benefit nature in need during the hot spells. And, if you had a way to separate the gravel from the sand, you could always pack this up for next year once fall hits.

 

20160703_153222.jpgThe other project I started was making compost tea with Comfrey. As you may or may not already know, Comfrey is absolutely full of good stuff, and you can use it herbally, bees love it, it’s a great compost accelerator, and it’s also a good tea ingredient to feed your plants organically. So I plucked some comfrey leaves and started stewing it to fertilize my plants with. My comfrey patch is gigantic, and at this point, beginning to fall down from the lack of water and from the heat of the summer. Gotta harvest it before it begins to completely go downhill, as they sometimes do.

I used a pin that takes us to this guide

20160703_153441According to the tips on this page, I had to brew this bad boy for 20 days.  So before heading to my vacation, I filled up the bucket ¾ full as advised, with leaves, put a brick on the pile to weigh them to the bottom and then topped the whole thing with water. Don’t forget to add a lid to prevent evaporation and mosquito infestations.

She’s brewing as we speak. I can’t wait to apply it! Well, okay, I am dreading it a little bit… It’s gonna stink. I’ll update you on the tea project during an agenda post. It should be fun to observe the benefits taken in by the garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On a side note, I walked my property after coming home and in just a week of HOT weather along with the apparent generous rainfall, all my gardens are getting almost prehistoric huge! There should be tomatoes soon I hope!

Hope it’s a great week for all you gardeners. The bugs are hungry here, and persistent. Next week, if I don’t get carried off and be made the queen of the deerflies, I will tell you my reviews and things I’ve done so far to cope with the bugs. After all, I have a week’s worth of weeding to catch up on!

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