Today was an odd day--in the 40 degree range in January in Minnesota. These are typically days that you get in March that make you want to run out and buy every plant imaginable for your garden. I however, kept things sensible and purchased a "watch 'em grow" daffodil-crocus-tulip-hyacinth basket and a few other odds and ends plants--one being a pitcher plant (pictured left). Periodically, we get little gnats or fruit flies in the aparatment and this pitcher plant is supposed to be a natural and safe solution. We'll see, I hope I don't kill it before it can work it's magic. Well, it was only $10 and it was worth the price to see Non Birding Bill's face when he saw it. I was warned by the nursery staff that I need to make sure to put a little water inside the pitchers to make sure they do not dry up. I'll let you know my progress. For those interested in where I got this odd little beauty, it was at Bachman's in Minneapolis.
I also started a little something that I picked up at Bird Watch America. There was a woman selling these little bags full of what looked like clay balls (that's one of the balls pictured to the right). They are actually full of seeds held together with guano. You place the balls in your containers and they grow into bunches of wild flowers. The company makes different varieties, but I picked up the package labeled for hummingbirds and butterflies. I only started one ball today, but when spring gets underway, I'm going to start my window baskets with some of the balls to see if I can attract any butterflies. These balls are pretty nifty and I'm sure they will be showing up in bird stores or as impulse items at nurseries fairly soon.