•  Make a map of your property and begin to plan where to plant new trees, shrubs and other plants.
  • Read gardening books and catalogs to find new plants to add to your yard.
  • Clean and oil garden tools. Sharpen if necessary . Paint handle ends a bright red so you don't lose them in piles of biomass.
  • Organize a potting space and order seeds. PLEASE BE SURE TO NOT ORDER ANYTHING THAT IS GENETICALLY MODIFIED. These plants are not good for insects.

If you can't afford bird seed and feeders (the cost can mount rapidly)  or don't want the bother of cleaning and filling them, you can attract birds and other wildlife by planting trees, shrubs and grasses that provide food and cover for them. This robin, who waited WAY too long to migrate south, is most appreciative of the holly berries on the trees we planted several years ago.


In The Deep Mid-Winter

It's winter in the garden. Looking out at the garden from an upstairs window I see birds and squirrels hopping, flying, scurrying around among the trees and shrubs. If you watch for the movement, you will be surprised how much life you find out there. If you don't find a neighbor's cat stalking at your bird feeders, you are likely to find rabbits among the shrubs or pairs of mourning doves on the ground.  These gentle birds tend to mate for life and if you see one, you will almost always see two.

If you choose to set up bird feeders (not the only way to attract birds) winter can be a time of delight and discovery. If you don't already own a field guide to birds, you should invest in one. Learning to identify the little feathered gems is a life-long hobby that can bring peace and joy and a sense of wonder. If you get good at ID, you should consider joining the Cornell University Feeder Watch program at http://feederwatch.org/.

Things To Look for in the Winter Garden

  • Song birds
  • Hawks
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels
  • Foxes
  • Buds on trees and shrubs
  • Signs of animals : chewing bark, droppings, feathers, tracks in mud or snow
  • Listen for owls at night