Thursday, May 06, 2010

Attract Goldfinches, Banana Popsicle Smelling shrubs and more...

 Question: What can I plant in my garden to attract goldfinches?

Answer: Sow sunflowers. Goldfinches love to eat the seeds. Choose varieties with lots of flowers instead of a variety that produces only one giant flower per plant. Goldfinches also eat the seeds of purple coneflowers. Purple coneflowers are perennials and though they may be grown from seed, they are more commonly acquired by purchasing the plants from your local nursery or garden center. To a lesser extent, goldfinches will eat the seeds from Mexican sunflower (tithonia), zinnias and black-eyed Susans. They love to eat seeds of dandelion and thistle and will use thistle down in making their nests.

Q: My neighbor has a shrub with small flowers that smell like banana Popsicles. What is its name?

A: It is appropriately called “banana shrub” (Michelia figo), and it does indeed smell like banana-flavored Popsicles or Creamsicles. The fragrance is strongest in the afternoon. The flowers are cream to creamy yellow, edged in purple and not particularly showy. The fragrance is unique and wonderful. The shrub is an attractive evergreen and can reach 10 feet high and 15 feet wide but is usually much smaller. With occasional pruning it can easily be kept as an informal hedge. It is a good shrub for planting next to a patio or porch where its fragrance can be appreciated up close. It is best for coastal, southern, and middle Georgia. It may be killed or suffer winter damage in the mountains.

Q: What is surimi?

A: Surimi is a minced fish product used to manufacture simulated crabmeat, lobster and other seafood.

Q: When do Georgia peaches come in season?

A: Some early varieties from south Georgia become available in May. The season extends through August and even into early September thanks to late varieties and Georgia’s geography and topography. Trees in north Georgia and at higher elevations will bloom and bear later than their south Georgia counterparts. 
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1 comment:

Lori Overson said...

We live in Fayetteville, GA and have been inundated with Goldfinches this winter! In just the past couple weeks; we have had a huge flock of them take up residence in our yard. Since their arrival we have had to fill our four feeders every day! We don’t even need to use thistle, they are eating up the black oil sunflower seeds! They are so fun to watch; sometimes as many as ten or more on a single feeder at one time. The males are already starting to turn a bolder yellow. I was just wondering if they will stay through the summer or if they are just traveling and found a good feeding ground to fatten up.