How the Gifts of God website started
It all started when we built a bird bath in our backyard. We saw a two-tier bird bath at a neighboring nature center that was built out of huge rocks. We built our own from concrete.
We could fill it by turning on a switch in the house. Water would come out the top spray nozzle and cascade down to the lower bath and then into a barrel sunk in the ground to recirculate.
I planted flowers around the bird bath. The gifts of God began to come.
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How to Grow Roses
Selecting the correct location is important when growing roses. They require 5-6 hours of sun light for good growth and flowering. That's important, but something else is important, also.
Selecting the correct rose for your growing areas. I moved from Florida to Missouri and I was so excited that I could grow other roses again in addition to the Knockout roses.
But I found out that I could not grow some of my favorites that I grew in California. The Double Delight (in the photo) is one example. It won't do well in zone 6 where I now live.
Silly me, I wasn't thinking. I was just happy to plant many of the roses I found at the garden centers. Our zero degree weather killed some of them to the ground. Now I check to make sure they are winter hardy and will grow in my zone 6.
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Grow Some Easy Flowers
I can not begin to say enough good things about Coneflowrs (Echinacea purpurea). This is where the herb Echinacea comes from that is great for our immune systems.
But what I wanted to talk about is how wonderful the Coneflower is in the landscape. I tried growing it a couple of times in Florida and it didn't do very well. But I have to admit that I was spoiled by the normally regular rainfall in Florida and I didn't give my flowers much extra water. It probably was my fault because I was not careful about the watering when it was newly planted.
Last spring I moved the Missouri and I planted some of the Pow Wow and Cheyenne varieties of Coneflowers and boy did I like them.
They bloomed all summer and up until frost. I left the seed heads on during the winter to feed the birds. The butterflies flocked to them all summer. And the new colors made a very bright spot in my landscape.
I did not see any pests or diseases on them. My favorite butterfly flower in Florida was Lantana, but here my new favorite flower for butterflies and me is the Coneflower! Just water it regularly until it is established and it is a very easy flower to grow.
Mine overwintered very well a 0 degrees and it is up and growing with flower buds on it already. I am looking forward to to it's bright and cheery display again this year.
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Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies
The beauty of spring. The hummingbirds have arrived for their summer nesting and raising their young.
Spring flowers have shown their full glory. The summer flowers are busy growing and getting ready for their time to show off. And the butterflies are out and about.
Just recently we have seen Monarchs, Black Swallowtails, the Little Blues, and white Cabbage Butterflies, but my favorite is always the Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. They are one of the larger butterflies and they have beautiful contrasting colors.
They always take my breath away when I see them fly by. What are your favorite types of butterflies?
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Get Your Hummingbird Feeders Out
The Ruby-throated Hummingbirds have arrived from their winter home in Mexico and/or South America.
They have been in Florida for a while and they are making their way north up the eastern side of the United States.
You can make their food using the hummingbird recipe. It is not necessary to purchase a commercial mix for making hummingbird food.
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