August 1, 2021

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Cheryl’s Party for the Birds

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We’re visiting with Cheryl Joslin today, who is sharing how she gets through the long New England winter.

Our growing season here in central Vermont (Zone 4) is really short. We have an 8×14 greenhouse to aid in extending our season, but we don’t heat it through the winter. In late October to early December I repurpose my greenhouse to become a workshop to make wreaths, garlands, and winter arrangements. Once that wraps up, I turn the greenhouse over to making birdseed ornaments to put out for the birds. I use the Christmas tree and whatever I find to put some color back into my winter gardens. This January, COVID has given me more time to be creative because of mandatory quarantines and because I can’t watch my daughter play ice hockey. Spring is just around the corner and this will keep me busy till I start laying out seeds and begin the process of making my gardens colorful again. In the meantime, the pretty things I make keep it colorful around here.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsA beautiful homemade wreath

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsIn the winter, the greenhouse gets turned into a workshop, with lots of cut branches loaded with berries ready to be added to wreaths.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThe greenhouse/workshop from the outside, with cut branches filling the planter boxes outside.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsThese beautiful birdseed ornaments are as tasty to birds are they are attractive. Here’s the recipe Cheryl uses to make them:

3 cups of birdseed

1/2 cup of hot water

1 packet of Knox gelatin

1/2 cup flour

3 Tbs. corn syrup

Spray cookie cutters, a cupcake pan, or whatever you’re using with cooking spray. Set on a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Add seed to bowl. In a separate container, dissolve the gelatin, then add corn syrup, followed by the flour. Stir it all together, and add it to the seeds.

The mix lasts about 30 minutes before it starts to become stiff.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsCheryl uses this same mix as “glue” to adhere birdseed and other treats for the birds to simple wooden birdhouses.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsTo make these birdseed cupcakes, Cheryl used a mix of seeds on the bottom, added a layer of peanut butter, and then placed raw sunflower seeds on the top. Each one is garnished with a crabapple from the garden.

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsSince she is not allowed to host humans for a gathering at this time, Cheryl decided to throw a party for the birds!

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsHere’s a close-up of the various offerings out for the birds to gather and enjoy!

, SEO, Wordpress Support & Insurance, Mortgage, Loans, Legal, Etc BlogsAnd a final creative and colorful way to feed the birds and add interest to the winter garden.

Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

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You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

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