by Helen Yoest
Helen’s Haven was designed to be a sustainable, safe haven for the three B’s: birds, bees, butterflies and of course humans, especially kids.
Our garden, Helen’s Haven, was designed as a place to admire the wildlife and a place where children can stop their play to taste a fig ripened on the shrub; pop a cherry tomato in their mouth warmed from the sun, fresh from the vine, and of course, to stop to smell the roses. While Helen’s Haven is a tidy garden, it isn’t fussy. An errant ball in the borders is nothing to worry about, nor are kids cutting through the beds, rolling in the grass, or picking flowers for an impromptu arrangement or to spread petals along the driveway and paths.
Helen’s Haven is a certified by: wildlife garden & bird friendly habitat by the National Wildlife Federation, North American Butterfly Association, NC Native Plant Society, and a Monarch Waystation.
Plants are selected to attract and feed the birds, bees, and butterflies. This garden also provides feeding stations, nesting boxes and water. Many bees are attracted as pollinators, as well as, honey makers. For the butterflies, Helen’s Haven provides dedicated host and nectar gardens filled with specific plants for the butterflies to lay their eggs, to feed larvae, to provide shelter to form chrysalis and to sip nectar as an adult.
An organic garden, Helen’s Haven uses no chemical herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides. If needed, only organic products are used.
A waterwise design, with three zones, oasis, transitional and xeric, plants are chosen to flourish in each respective zone. There are also xeric plants in oasis zones and vice versa; however, no special treatment is given to these plants. If, in a given year, nature cares for them, that’s fine, if not, that’s fine as well.
The sign on the mail box reads “A Waterwise Design, Watered with Harvested Rain.” The tall fescue grass is allowed to go dormant during the absence of rain - affectionally known as going “Dormant for the Moment.”
Helen’s Haven uses only harvested rainwater collected and stored in two 250 gallon reservoirs and four 80 gallon satellite storage units with a total of 820 gallons to use in times of need. This system in managed by collecting in the main 250 gallon harvester and then pumped to other units.
I believe in the power of much. Covering garden beds with mulch is one of the best things you can do for your garden. Used generously, mulch breaks down to add nutrients to the soil, helps retains water, moderates the soil temperature, improves soil texture, suppresses weeds, and looks great; it really makes the garden look tidy.
Patti Moreno is the host of http://www.gardengirltv.com and contributor to Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, the Huffington Post and the Farmers Almanac . She publishes the web magazine http://www.urbansustainableliving.com and she answers questions at http://www.gardengirltv.com/messageboard. She is the Co-Host of Growing a Greener World and the number one gardening expert on Youtube. Buy Patti’s 4hr DVD at www.olivebarn.com
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