Spring Flower Beds, Hornets & Wasps

We’re less than two weeks from opening and I’m working to get our flower beds in shape.  I love to work on the flower gardens and was very happy with them during the first few years we were here.  After we opened the winery, it became more and more challenging to do much at all with flowers with a full time job.  It got to the point that I only focused on the winery patio and the rest of the gardens were weeded and that’s about it.  Now, I am so excited to have the time to work more of the flower beds!  They won’t be exactly how I want them this year, but at least I can make some improvements.

Yesterday was the first day to start cleaning out the flower beds on the winery patio. The flower bed closest to the parking lot was first and it was the worst!   It’s full of day lilies,  irises, hostas and creeping phlox.  In between all of them were weeds, mostly grassy type weeds.  They were individual grasses that you had to pick from in between the plant leaves.  It took about two hours to clean that one flower bed.

While I was out there, I was constantly having to watch for wasps.  They have been out in force around here for the last week.  I learned a trick that’s targeted to keep away hornets, but tends to also reduce the number of wasps around, too.  It’s a simple trick using a paper bag.  Hornets build those big paper nests.  They are territorial, so if they see a nest, they’ll go elsewhere to build.  If you hang a filled paper bag in a tree or anywhere in plain site, hornets will stay away.  I filled mine with wine bottle corks.  The picture shows it tied up with a plastic bag, but I’ll replace the white bag with twine when I pick some up.  Some people fill the bag with plastic grocery bags.   Last year, the hornets kept building nests on the patio and we kept knocking them down.  Once we hung the bag out by the patio, they quit building nests.   I was amazed, but it makes sense.  I plan to try the same thing with burlap bags as soon as they get here from Amazon.

Enjoying Spring!