The Garden Enthusiast - Backyard Nature Station Update April 2015 

Table of Contents 
-Fourth Anniversary 
-Children’s Garden 
-From our Customers 
-What's New in the Store? 
Classes & Events 
-Sale Annual 
-Bird Feeder Cleaning Day 
-Old Town Tucker Update/Happenings 
-Community Events and Backyard Nature Events 
-Other Backyard Nature Events 
-Earth Day 
-Opportunities in the Garden for April 
For the Kids (new!) 
-Featured Bird Feeder of the Month: Aspects Hummingbird Feeders
-Bird of the Month: Rose-breasted Grosbeak 
-Audubon Field Trips 

Fellow Backyard Nature Lovers, 

I took a stroll through our garden. It is alive with the music of hundreds of birds. The viburnum, lorepetalum, daphne, pieris, clematis, Otto Luyken laurel, dogwood, red twig dog wood, swamp Jessamine, Lenten rose, saucer magnolia, Lady Jane tulips, wood poppies, azaleas, ajuga, mazus, and Thundercloud plum are all a blaze of color with some fragrance thrown in. Many of the hosta, fern, and peonies are up and the Japanese maples have leafed out. Some of the oaks have completely leafed out while others along with the sugar maples are just starting. What a glorious time of year! 

Our fourth anniversary is officially April 29th! We’ll begin our celebration with a huge Sidewalk Sale on April 25th and annual Bird Feeder Cleaning Day (check these out under Classes and Events). Last year we told you some of the new things we had planned for the year including the Children’s Garden and the refrigerator to keep the mealworms close at hand and the suet fresh. Note the updates on the Children’s Garden below. We also added the big screen TV with news on what’s going on in the store and more. As we look to this next year we’re changing and adding more (look at the gardening section for more details on this. We will be shifting things in the store so please excuse the upheaval during this time. 

Are you interested in bees? Do you have hives? We want to hear from you if you’d like for us to carry some of the ongoing supplies you need. 

April is National Gardening Month and April 22nd is Earth Day. Check out the Nature events (and there are a lot of them!) and the Gardening section for ways to celebrate this special month. 

The winner of our “Feeling the luck of the Irish - Like us on Face book contest was Dick Wright. He won a $50 gift certificate from The Garden Enthusiast – Backyard Nature Station. Congratulations, Dick! 

Children’s Garden 

We have worked hard on the development of our Children’s Garden over the last year. Taking it from a vacant alleyway matted over with tall weeds, poison ivy, glass, and trash was a labor of love. After 4 years it is coming to fruition. We want to thank everyone who has helped with this. Our plans are to open the garden on Saturday, May 16th. More details will follow in our May newsletter. This continues our mission of encouraging children’s natural curiosity and creativity. Classes and children’s birthday parties will be a part of this in the future. 

From Our Customers 

Linda, Your newsletter is like a ray of sunshine! I enjoyed reading it and want to take in every opportunity mentioned. It brings Spring right on home, with all its glory and splendor. Will visit you soon for bluebird paraphernalia. My 20-year old box finally bit the dust and its site faded into the woods. So I need a new box or boxes, posts, feeders and meal worms to keep my little friends happy. Thank you so much for sharing all this info. 
-Julianne Givens Goecke, Decatur 

What’s New in the Store? 

Birding: Pre-filled thistle socks, hummingbird feeders, thistle feeders, Heartwood birdhouses, birdfeeders, nesting material, birdbaths 

: Grow Light Fixtures, bulbs, rocks, seed starter soil pockets, grow mediums, PhUP, PHdown, organic vegetable seeds, Espoma Soil Acidifier, Milorganite, Chick Magic ( chicken manure) organic fertilizer for tomatoes, fruits and vegetables 

Garden Art: Wind chimes, stakes, Crosswalk signs (such as butterfly, chicken, dragonfly and many more), gazing balls, stepping stones, new forest faces 
Children: Bug Bungalows, Critter Kits and books 

Fairy Garden: TONS of new fairies and fairy "elves", ponds, fairy doors, log bridge, fences, houses, miniature animals, fountains, benches, bistro sets, gazebo with chandelier, mini yoga frogs, camper, tire swing, campfire, tent, hammock, lemonade stand, tree house, see saw, roadside stand, bunny hutch, dog house, slide, sea glass and rive rock, and more... It’s fairy gardening time! 

: MailWraps and MatMates, flags, Roses without Chemicals by Peter Kukielski (Peter was featured in Up Close and Personal's latest edition and was a 1983 graduate of Tucker High School.) 

Classes and Events 

**Saturday April 25th The Garden Enthusiast Sidewalk Sale 10AM – 4PM** 
If you shopped at our sidewalk sale in October you found some great buys. Look for more bargains at our April sale. We’re partnering with some of our vendors to bring in more products. There will be a lot of pond products including pumps, filters, lighting, UV clarifiers, aquatic gloves, pond chemicals, fish food, and more. So if you have – or want to have a water feature – this will be a great opportunity for you. There will be shears, saws, tool seats, tree huggers, and Sloggy shoes in 4 colors and sizes 6-10. We hope to have a complete list of everything we’ll be offering at the sale posted in the store and on Facebook 
soonPrices will be as much as 70% off retail. All sales final. Put this on your calendar and tell your friends – don’t miss it! 

Saturday April 25th Bird Feeder Cleaning Day (part of our anniversary celebration) 
Bring in your feeders on this day and we’ll clean them for you. Each customer can bring in up to 2 feeders. Drop off day will be Saturday and clean feeders will be ready to pick up on Monday, April 27th. 

Old Town Tucker Updates/Happenings 

March 14th turned out to be a beautiful day for the 4th Annual Chili Cook off. Thousands of people turned out for the food, music, people-watching, and shopping opportunities. Congratulations to the winners: 
1st Place – Southern Ho Down 
2nd Place – American Legion 
3rd Place - Kraken 
Restaurant: Shorty’s 
People’s Choice: Fire Slayer Chili Makers 
Best Booth: Fire Slayer Chili Makers 

Thursday April 9th Tucker Farmer’s Market 2015 Opening 4-8PM 

Saturday April 11th Tucker Cruise-In 5PM – 8:30PM 
The Tucker Cruise-in is an old fashioned town meet and greet of the car community on Main Street. For more information, call 770-527-1521. 

Saturday April 18th Tucker High School Centennial (THS) Celebration 
There will be many activities in conjunction with Tucker High School’s hundredth anniversary celebration including 
-10:30AM Parade down Main Street with a theme of Past, Present, and Future 
11AM – 3PM Tucker Optimist BBQ from in the THS cafeteria 
-5-7PM Reunion rooms in the school 
-7PM Ceremony 
-7:30-11:30PM Centennial Dance featuring Airtight Band – music for all decades 
For more information and updates go to 
Massage Associates of Atlanta, LLC presents: A Weekend of Workshops ~ Open to Everyone! for details and registration. Mention The Garden Enthusiast and receive $10 off any of these workshops! 

Saturday May 2nd 10am - 11am 
Essential Oils of the Red Tent: Supporting Women’s Wellness i.e., hormonal balance, fertility etc $500 
Saturday May 2nd 1pm - 6pm 
Beginning Feng Shui: Balance the energy of your home and workspace $75 
May 3rd 9 am - 4pm 
Staying Healthy through the Seasons Self care using 5 Element Theory & Chi Nei Tsang Massage $175 Space is Limited 
* Register Now! 5165 Lavista Rd Tucker, GA 30084, 770.493.8181 

Community Events and Spirit 

Saturday April 25th Mountain Shadow Garden Club Annual Plant Sale 8AM – 2PM 

The annual plant sale will be in the parking lot of Eastminister Presbyterian Church at 5801 Hugh Howell Road. The sale offers a wide range of perennials, annuals, shrubs, and other plants and garden materials that are well adapted to the local area. Club members with many years of gardening experience will be on hand to help customers make selections and learn about caring for new purchases. For further information contact Scott Uthlaut at 770-923-9762. 

Saturday April 25th Tucker Plant Swap 8AM – 1PM
Come to the Tucker Historical Society’s annual plant swap in the First Baptist Church of Tucker parking lot. Bring a plant – take a plant! Donations accepted. If you’d like to help, contact Kathy Powell at [email protected] 

Saturday, May 9th Tucker Day 9AM – 5PM 
Multiple stages and different types of music; children’s parade, vendors, food 

May 15, 16 and 17, 2015 Main Street Theatre presents "Harvey" 
Tucker Recreation Center 

Saturday, May 16th Tucker Historical Society Garden Tour 9AM – 5PM
Five unique local gardens from all over Tucker and the Tucker Butterfly Garden will be on the tour. Tickets will be available at The Garden Enthusiast by April 25th. 

ARTucker 2015 Artists Market 
May 29: 5-9PM 
May 30: 10-5PM 
Artists Market Application; Application Deadline (postmark /timestamp): 
April 7, 2015 
Notification of acceptance: 
April 21, 2015 

ARTucker 2015 is inviting vendors to participate in its inaugural show. We are an indoor market that celebrates local Georgia art and artists. The show is open to all Georgia artists over the age of 18. No commercially produced work will be allowed. Please visit our Face Book page for additional information ( 

Attention Dekalb County Schools (Teachers and/or parents can call) – it’s that time again. The Dekalb County Federation of Garden Clubs, Inc. has money for YOU! If your school has a project which beautifies its grounds, sets up and continues a garden of any kind, or does any sort of ecological or environmental education for its students, you may be eligible for $200 (the minimum) grant money through a Federation program called “The B.E.E. Grant” and all it takes is a phone call to learn more. Call Judy Lemoine, the Chair of the B.E.E. Committee, at her home: 770-934-8541. If you leave a message and your number, your call will be returned within a day. They want your school! Applications are being accepted now. The deadline is August 30th. For Dekalb County public schools only! 

Update on Tucker Parks 

Tucker’s Pamela McNall received a Park Pride Inspiration Award during the Parks and Greenspace Conference, Parks and People: A Declaration of Independence. 

Wednesday April 29th Meeting of Friends of Tucker Parks 7-8PM
Tucker Recreation Center 

Henderson Park
There are a few plots available in the garden. 
Sunday April 19th 5th Year Anniversary party 2-5PM 
Work days are the second Saturday of every month from 9AM – Noon 

Johns Homestead Park 
Volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tucker did a ‘trash mob” cleaning up the lakes and orchard side of the park. 

Kelley Cofer Park
Saturday May 16th Beautification and trash pick-up day 9AM – 12PM; morning snacks provided 
20 blueberry bushes and 4 apple trees have been installed along with 3 pawpaws, 4 persimmons, 2 plums and 1 pineapple guava 
Check our Face book page for more information: Friends of Kelley Cofer Park Facebook page 

Orchard Guild
This is a new addition to the Friends of Tucker Parks led by Master Gardener, Mike Fillon. They’ve installed a total of 43 blueberry bushes and 25 fruit trees in Tucker! 
Check out our Facebook Page, Friends of Tucker Parks' Orchard Guild 

Tucker Nature Preserve 

Eagle Scout, Merlin Larsen, completed the looping trail. LIKE us on Face book! 

Tucker Recreation Center 
They are currently partnering with the Orchard Guild, the Tucker Butterfly Garden, Trees of Tucker, HEGA, and the Pottery Studio on many new projects such as entrance and foundation beautification, edible playground, outdoor classroom, art installations, and fence renovation. 23 blueberry bushes have been installed. 

Other Backyard Nature Events 

Friday April 10th & Saturday April 11th Chattahoochee Nature Center Spring Native Plant Sale 10AM – 5PM
Plants for every garden…from full sun to full shade! Join us at the CNC Greenhouse! Horticulturists and Master Gardeners will be on-site to answer questions. Butterfly host and sensory garden plants; blooming native azaleas, trees and shrubs; unusual native perennials; wide selection of woodland plants and spring ephemerals. For more information, (770) 992-2055 or 

Friday April 10th Native Plant Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College
A Walk in the Garden with George Sanko looking at “Outstanding Spring Ephemerals “ at 10:30AM followed by presentation at 12N by George Sanko on “From Sex to Seed: Wildflower Sex" (no one under 17 allowed!) . Plant sale from 10AM – 2PM. If desired, bring a lunch. 3251 Panthersville Rd Decatur 

April 10th & 11th United Methodist Children’s Home Plant Sale 9AM – 4PM 

The sale is in conjunction with the Home's flea market. All proceeds go toward beautifying the Children's Home. 500 S. Columbia Drive, Decatur 30030 

April 11th Native Plant Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College Plant Sale 10AM – 2PM 
Cash or check only. 3251 Panthersville Rd Decatur Saturday 

April 11th The Georgia Iris Society Meeting 2PM
Ken Duke, GIS member, Master Judge and Landscape Designer will present "How to Prepare Irises for the Spring Show". 
Our meetings are free to the public and all are welcome. Join us for beautification, education and recreation. Northlake Library, 3772 Lavista Road, Tucker 
For more information contact Kathy Blackwell 678 583 8603. 

Saturday April 11th Azalea Chapter Annual Plant Sale and Flower Display 8AM - 4PM (or until plants are gone)
This is the annual plant sale of the Azalea Chapter. An outstanding collection of over 1,200 native azaleas, evergreen azaleas, other rhododendrons, mountain laurel, camellias, pieris, and other hard to find varieties of plants will be offered. Joining the Azalea Chapter will give you a significant discount (25%) on already great prices. Rain or shine. We always sell out. Come early. Cash/Checks/Credit Cards. Oak Grove United Methodist Church, 1722 Oak Grove Rd, Decatur, GA 30033. Contact Terry Robinson at [email protected] for more information. 

Saturday April 11th & Sunday April 12th Chattahoochee Unit of the American Herb Society Plant Sale 9AM – 4PM 

The sale will be at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and offers many varieties of unusual and hard to find herbs along with vendors offering garden inspired crafts. Herbs for sale include: basil (9 varieties), lavender (6 varieties), cilantro, chives, garlic chives, dill, fennel, anise hyssop, arugula, lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon verbena, marjoram, mint (4 varieties, oregano, parsley, rosemary (5 varieties), sage, stevia, thyme, savory, sorrel, and scented geraniums. Garden Admission is required. 

Sunday April 12th Woodlands Garden: Music in the Garden 1- 4PM
Dedication of the new bird meadow with flute music and a short ceremony and opening day for the 2nd annual Auction for the Birds; music by Ben Wakeman and Allison Adams. 

April 14, 15 &16th Gwinnett Technical College Plant Sale 9AM – 4PM
Annuals: petunia, marigold, wax begonia, vinca, geranium, bacopa, sweet potato vine, blue daze, and more; perennials: Iris, blackberry lily, sedum, Japanese painted fern, Miss Huff lantana, peony, hosta ; shrubs/trees: viburnum, Hydrangea, spirea, and more; vegetables/herbs: tomatoes, peppers, chocolate mint, tarragon, thyme, catnip, basil… and more; houseplants: Spider plant, philodendron, begonia, and more. 
Cash or check only. 5150 Sugarloaf Parkway 

Friday April 17th Native Plant Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College
A Walk in the Garden with Tom Patrick & John Little looking at “Trilliums in the Garden“ at 10:30AM followed by presentation at 12N by Tom Patrick on “Trilliums”. Plant sale from 10AM – 2PM. If desired, bring a lunch. 3251 Panthersville Rd Decatur 

Saturday April 18th Dekalb Master Gardener’s Association Annual Spring Plant Sale 1-AM – 1PM 

Shop for perennials, a few rare plants, some native plants and small shrubs and trees. No early bird sales for this event. Locally grown, potted from our gardens and plant rescues, these are tried and true plants ready for your beautiful garden. We know how to grow them, and can answer other garden questions too! Proceeds from this sale support scholarships given to DeKalb County students studying Horticulture at Gwinnett Technical College. We are proud to have awarded over 14 scholarships to deserving students. Bring a friend- we have great prices! Bring boxes or bags too- we have great plants! 
Oak Grove UMC parking lot: Corner of Oak Grove & Fairoaks, 1722 Oak Grove Rd, Decatur, Georgia 30033 

Saturday April 18th Atlanta Koi Club Auction and Plant Sale 10AM – 2PM
Coastal Pond Supply 2110 Tucker Industrial Road Tucker, GA 30084 [email protected] 

Saturday April 18th Georgia Native Plant Society Annual Spring Plant Sale 10AM – 2PM
Thousands of sun and shade loving native plants: trees, shrubs, perennials and ferns for all growing conditions and to help attract wildlife. Over 600 native azaleas. Cash, Credit Card or Check. Bring Wagons or Carts. Not Handicapped-Accessible McFarlane Nature Park, 280 Farm Road SE, Marietta 

Saturday April 18th Trees Atlanta 3rd Annual Native Wildflower and Vine Sale 8AM – 1PM
Freedom Farmers’ Market at The Carter Center; 453 Freedom Parkway NE, Atlanta 30307 
More than 1,800 plants of native wildflowers and vines available for sale, as well as much more available parking. 
All major credit cards, as well as checks, and cash will be accepted. Plant List  

Sunday April 19th Woodlands Garden: Music in the Garden  2-4PM
Just Be'Cause (Bruce Gilbert, Cyndi Craven, Jerry Brunner)
Friday April 24th Native Plant Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College
A Walk in the Garden with Susan Todd looking at the woodland garden at 10:30AM followed by presentation at 12N by Nancy Beckemeyer, landscape architect on “Stewards of the Land: Designing with Natives”. Plant sale from 10AM – 2PM. If desired, bring a lunch. 3251 Panthersville Rd Decatur  2
April 25th Native Plant Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College Plant Sale 10AM – 2PM
Cash or check only. 3251 Panthersville Rd Decatur 

Georgia Perimeter College (GPC) Native Plant Botanical Garden celebrates its 25th Anniversary 
This Native Plant Garden is the outcome of the vision, dedication and devotion of George Sanko, professor of Botany and Biology at GPC for 25 years. In 1990, after retiring as full-time professor, George Sanko committed to repurposing an overgrown waste land adjacent to the southern edge of DeKalb College (now a part of the Georgia Perimeter College system) into a Native Plant Garden. This Garden presently occupies 4 acres and contains 900 taxa of native plants and ferns, including 390 fern taxa. At any time, there are between 9,500 and 12,000 plant specimens growing in the Garden. 
Additionally, there are two greenhouses; a nursery and propagation area; an outdoor plant growing area and a plant sale area. There will be a weeklong celebration from April 19 – 25. A number of activities are being planned including at least a walk each day. A special day of celebration will be on Wednesday, April 22nd which is Earth Day. Walks and a lunch/cookout are being planned. The Lunch and Wildflower program will be held on Friday, April 24th and plant sales on Friday and Saturday, April 24 and 25. 
This exceptional garden is adjacent to the GPC Decatur campus at 3251 Panthersville Road in SW Dekalb County. The garden is free and always open. 

Saturday April 25th Iris Show: “Around the World” 11am – 4PM 
Presented by the Georgia Iris Society in cooperation with the American Iris Society. Judging is from 9:30 – 10:30AM and is open to the public. Free entry and admission. 
St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church at 1790 Lavista Road 
For more information contact Kathy Blackwell 678 583 8603. 

Sunday April 26th Georgia Iris Society Iris Sale 1 - 5PM (or until sold out) 
Bolton Garden at 1916 Idlewood Road 
For more information contact Kathy Blackwell at 678-583-8603. 

Sunday April 26th Woodlands Garden: Music in the Garden 2-4PM
The Rosin Sisters (Jan Smith, Barbara Panter-Connah, Ann Whitley-Singleton) 
Auction for the Birds concludes 

Friday May 1st Native Plant Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College 
A Walk in the Garden with Orra Sue Naglich looking at favorite ferns at 10:30AM followed by presentation at 12N by Ellen Honeycutt on “Native Shrubs in Georgia”. Plant sale from 10AM – 2PM. If desired, bring a lunch. 3251 Panthersville Rd Decatur 

May 2nd Native Plant Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College Plant Sale 10AM – 2PM 
Cash or check only. 3251 Panthersville Rd Decatur 

Saturday May 9th Georgia Hosta Society Leaf Show & Plant Sale 

Tucker United Methodist Church, Wesley Center 

Saturday May 9th Behind the Garden Gate 9AM – 3PM 
GFWC Lilburn Woman’s Club presents its second annual tour of Lilburn gardens. Eight gardens will be on the tour. Tickets: $20 

Saturday May 16th Gwinnett County Master Gardeners Association Garden Tour 10AM – 5PM 
Mark your calendars for a self-guided tour of 10 delightful gardens in the Lilburn, Snellville, and Loganville areas. This is a great way to spend a spring Saturday! Visit local residential gardens created and maintained by Gwinnett Master Gardeners. Visitors can also see unique public spaces which received volunteer hours and/or grant money from the GCMGA. You’ll take home wonderful ideas for your own garden and discover hidden gems you didn’t know existed. The purchase of your Garden Tour ticket provides you with the locations and additional information about each garden. When you start the day, the route and stops along the way are up to you! You may buy your advance tickets with PayPal through May 11th. Tour tickets will be $20 after that date. 


In the upcoming months you'll be seeing additions to our gardening section to include a brand new selection for "ponics" hobbyists. This section will include everything our "soil-less" growers need from seedling and cloning supplies, right up to harvest. We've already created a grow light display which showcases the different lighting technology available to give your young plants a jump start. The seedlings started under lights last month are doing magnificently and are almost ready to transplant into the Children's Garden. 

Soil-less gardening techniques use 90% less water than traditional gardens. With additional benefits of higher plant densities and higher average plant yields, you can understand why 21st century gardening is so exciting. 

Horticultural lighting technology has come leaps and bounds over the last 10 years, making indoor gardening, especially growing leafy greens, cost effective. Year-round gardening is now practical. Basic systems can grow herbs, lettuce, and leafy greens; while more advanced systems can grow anything. If the thought of year-round fresh herbs or vine-ripe tomatoes, along with the peace-of-mind of knowing your food is fresh and safe, is appealing, indoor gardening may be for you. 

For those of you interested in soil-less growing, Scott ([email protected]) will be hosting an informal grower's club which will meet in our Aquaponics demonstration area of the Children's Garden. The demonstration area features an assortment of aero-, hydro- and bubble- ponics systems fed by a 700 gallon fish pond. Meeting will be on Thursday evenings starting in May. Look for more information in next month's Newsletter

For Earth Day on the 22nd think reduce, re-use and recycle! You can make a difference. Check out these statistics to see how you’re impact on conservation and remember every little bit helps! 
• Aluminum can be endlessly recycled. Even though we use over 80 billion aluminum cans every year, they account for less than 1% of waste because of recycling. 
• Recycling of all of our newspapers every year would save 25 million trees. 
• We use 2.5 million plastic bottles every year. Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it. 
• A glass bottle would take thousands of years to decompose – recycle and save energy. 
• Discarded packaging accounts for 65% of household trash. 
• Enough Hershey‘s Kisses are wrapped in aluminum foil every day to cover 40 football fields, and all of it is recyclable. 
Do you have your recycling bin yet? If not, sign up at: 

What do we do at The Garden Enthusiast to support Earth Day and to be a ‘greener’ retailer year-round to help support our local community? 
• We recycle packing materials. 
• We do not use plastic bags. 
• We buy from many local artists and companies which cuts down on transportation costs – including our birdseed which is from Kennesaw. 
Every little bit we do – or you do – helps to make a difference! 

As you’re out buying plants from many of the sales in the next few weeks, buy native when you can. They are lower maintenance and bring more birds and butterflies to your garden by providing food and habitat. They generally require less water and no chemicals. Doug Tallamy’s book, Bringing Nature Home, clearly explains the ties between native plants and bird populations. The book explains how birds need specific insects to survive, insects that need native plants for feed and habitat. (We’ll have this book in stock in the next week or so.) To find a list of plants native to Georgia and what nurseries carry them, go to 

When you’re buying should you consider hybrids or is it better to buy heirlooms? Simply put, you develop hybrids by cross pollinating between specific varieties of plants. Maybe you’re looking for fastest growth combined with best disease resistance. Hopefully, the resulting plant would provide those results. However, for those who like to save and use seeds for next year, you can’t do that with hybrids. You would have to purchase the plants or seeds every year. Heirlooms are generally varieties that are over 50 years old that have been passed down – many times through families or communities. The Brandywine beefsteak tomato is an example of an heirloom or open-pollinated plant (pollinated by the wind or by natural pollinators like bees or butterflies). It originated on an Amish farm in 1885 in Chester County, Pennsylvania. You can save the seeds from heirlooms and use them in next year’s garden. There are many choices in today’s market. Maybe try some of each for different colors, tastes. 

Remember that one of the best things you can do in the garden to save time and energy is to spread mulch. Use 2-3 inch layer to help prevent weeds and to help keep in moisture. Try the free compost from Dekalb County at Memorial Drive/Northern Avenue at I- 285. It is next to the parking area for Dekalb government offices – i.e. tag office. 

Are you just starting out in your yard? Try just a couple of focal points – maybe next to your patio where you spend time or around the front door. Plant some perennials that will give you long-lasting results such as hosta or baptisia and add some colorful annuals to give you a big splash of color. Check the labels to see if the plants are disease-resistant. If you want to add color by using containers, choose only one or two to start with - they’ll need water and fertilizer more often. More on container gardening next month. 

Opportunities in the garden for April: 
   • Plant bulbs such as elephant ear, dahlias and caladiums now. 
   • Prune back your spring flowering shrubs after they have finished blooming as needed. 
   • Move your houseplants outside and start monthly fertilization. 
   • Plant your tomatoes, peppers in your garden. Make sure you mulch your tomatoes to decrease the chances of early blight fungus. 
   • Plant beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, corn, cucumber, kale, leek, melon, okra, onions, parsnip, peas, peppers, potatoes, radishes, spinach, squash, Swiss chard, turnip, and watermelon this month. 
   • Plant container grown perennials and annuals now. As you plant annuals, remove the flower buds to encourage more root growth. Pinch off the growing tips to encourage a bushier plant. 
   • Keep sowing seeds of lettuces and other garden greens to ensure a continual harvest. Sow in an area that gets afternoon shade. 
   • If you’ve had a problem with cutworms on your beans, squash or other veggies, put collars around them made of recycled household items such as cans with the lids removed. 
   • Start cutting warm-season turf such as Bermuda, St. Augustine, and centipede removing only about the top third of the grass blades each cutting during the spring. Feed your fescue lawns and Zoysia and Bermuda grass once they’ve greened up by at least 50%. 
   • Do some weeding. Weeds compete with plants for water and nutrients so before it gets too hot, try to rid the garden of them. 
   • As the flowers die back on your daffodils and tulips, remove them and fertilize but let the foliage stay. 
   • If you’ve had a problem with azalea leaf bug in the past, spray the leaves with an insecticidal soap. 
   • Remove and replace or freshen (if there is no evidence of disease or insects) mulch to keep down the weeds and help keep in the moisture. 

For the Kids 

Celebrate the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day. It’s up to you to help protect our planet. So what can you do? 
Plant a tree with your family to provide enjoyment not only now as you watch it grow but for years to come. Which tree will you pick? Will it have flowers in the spring? Provide summer shade for you to read a book under? Have leaves that are bright orange or red in the fall? Why plant a tree? It can provide food and shelter to birds, insect and other wildlife. It can help to keep you house cooler in the summertime by providing shade. It helps to clean up the air you breathe by filtering out some of the dust and other particles in the air. If you pick a fruit tree, it can even provide you with food! Take a picture with your family when you plant a tree and then take one every year to mark its progress.

 Be a Butterfly Hero!
Pollinators, including the Monarch butterfly, are responsible for much of the food we eat. In recent years, butterflies have been losing their habitat to agricultural practices, development, and cropland conversion. But we can help! 
Join Botanical Interests, our seed packet supplier, in supporting the National Wildlife Federation's efforts to be a Butterfly Hero. Send a picture of yourself making the butterfly sign in sign language to, and you'll receive a Butterfly Garden Starter kit, including a Botanical Interests seed packet, while supplies last. As home gardeners, we can replenish the butterfly habitat by sowing butterfly-friendly varieties in our home, school, and community gardens. Pledge to be a Butterfly Hero and visit us for many of the butterfly friendly varieties we offer such as Bring Home the Butterflies, Lavender Hyssop, and Butterfly Flower. 

Make compost. It makes the soil richer and cuts down on the amount of waste going into landfills. 

Plant a pollinator garden to attract bees and other pollinators. 


Spring migration has begun and with it a variety of birds have arrived that we haven’t seen for a while- many species of warblers, thrushes, catbirds, grosbeaks and others. I saw my first hummingbird of the season last week. Have you put your feeder out yet? Or, maybe you leave yours out year-round? Have you seen any yet? Go to to check out the hummingbird sightings map. We have many reports of bluebirds nesting (and other birds, too!) and customers eagerly awaiting their first babies. Share your birding experiences with us throughout the year! 

Featured Bird Feeder of the Month: Aspects Hummingbird Feeders

15% Off Throughout the month of April !! 

  • Easy to clean
  • 6 feeding ports
  • Built-in ant moat
  • Bee and ant resistant
  • Raised ports divert rain


Bird of the Month: Rose-breasted Grosbeak

   ( Male, Female) 

• Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are 7-8” songbirds in the cardinal family. The male has a black head, wings, back and tail with a bright rose colored patch centered on its white chest. The wings have two white patches. Females lack the distinct bright color of the male and are heavily streaked brown and white with a buff colored underbelly. The females have a white stripe over their eyes. The beaks on both the male and female are large and ivory colored. 
• They migrate through Georgia in the late spring and in early fall. 
• During migration they especially look for fruiting trees. They will also eat insects including ants, beetles, caterpillars, and spiders. They may catch an insect in midair. They will come to your feeders particularly for sunflower seeds. 
• The nest is open, flimsy and cup-shaped made of twigs, leaves and weeds and lined with smaller twigs, animal hair and fine roots. 
• The Rose-breasted Grosbeak clutch size is 3-5 blue green eggs with brown markings and they have 1-2 broods per year. Incubation period is13-14 days and the nesting period is 9-12 days. The male and female take turns incubating the eggs and feeding the babies. 
• Predators of the young are Blue Jays, Common Grackles and squirrels while hawks are predators of the adults. 
• Their song is similar to that of the American Robin but softer. Their call is a repeated, short, sharp “pink” or “chink”. They may sing while sitting on their nest. 

Audubon Field Trips

 Check out the upcoming field trips from the Atlanta Audubon Society (get in touch with them for more information at 678-973-2437). There are several this month (*) that are close by

Friday April 10th Hard Labor Creek State Park 10AM 
Birding Focus: Hard Labor Creek is the 2nd largest GA State Park. It boasts a variety of habitats and has a history of birds like Loggerhead Shrikes, American Kestrels, and a variety of waterfowl on Lake Rutledge. During this short walk, we'll look for lingering winter residents and early spring migrants, including woodland birds, waterfowl, and raptors. 

Saturday April 11th Atlanta Beltline 8AM 
Please register by emailing Kate Balzell at [email protected] so that you will contacted in the event of any updates or changes to the event. Birding Focus: Come walk the Atlanta BeltLine north of Piedmont Park with expert Arboretum Docents from Trees Atlanta and Atlanta Audubon. We will look for urban resident and migratory birds, hopefully with some close-up views. This is a family-friendly walk, but is not appropriate for children in strollers or for dogs. 

Sunday April 12th Vaughtners Farm Meadow Loop at Panola Mountain State Park 8AM 
Birding Focus: The Vaughters Farm Meadow Loop, Panola Mountain State Park's newest trail, is a 1.25 mile trail completed thanks to a generous grant from REI. We will be looking for woodland and grassland species, both permanent and winter residents. Meadowlarks were recently spotted along this trail, an uncommon find in DeKalb County! This easy unpaved trail offers unbeatable views of the Vaughters' Barn, rolling hills, and grassy meadows. Those wishing to participate in this walk are requested to register with the Nature Center at the park by calling 770.389.7801. 

Tuesday April 14th Cochran Shoals, CRNRA 7:30AM
Birding Focus: Permanent and lingering winter residents, including waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers, and warblers. The leader will also help us find flora, amphibians and reptiles, and butterflies. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog. 

Wednesday April 15th Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Migrating flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, warblers, tanagers, and grosbeaks. All levels are welcome. 

Saturday April 18th Family Event at Piedmont Park 8AM 
Birding Focus: Bring your children out to Piedmont Park and join birder Jason Ward and educator Yetta Robinson on a fun-filled family-oriented morning! Focus will be on "Birding 101", kids will learn birding basics, such as how to ID birds in different ways, and there will be activities and games followed by a walk through some of park's best areas to see birds! 

*Saturday April 18th Stone Mountain 8AM 
Birding Focus: This will be an easy walk for all skill levels. The site is an old church that the Stone Mountain Memorial Association (SMMA) now uses for their education department. They have about 10 acres of habitat around the church that they have been working on for several years and there is a good bit of edge habitat around the massive parking lot. We will look for spring migrants and breeding residents around the grounds. Please bring your own binoculars. Beginners are welcome. 

Saturday April 18th Morgan Falls Overlook Park 8:30AM 
Birding Focus: Join us for a family-friendly guided bird walk along the trail at Overlook Park. This spring walk will offer opportunities to see migrants and breeding species. Binoculars will be available to borrow. Ages 6+ are welcome. Preregistration is required. To register, go to the Sandy Springs Recreation & Parks Department website. Or call 770-730-5600. 

*Saturday April 18th Fernbank Forest 8:30AM 
Birding Focus: Come discover more about spring migrants and resident birds of Fernbank Forest. This program is excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. All ages are welcome. Cost: This program is free for Fernbank Museum members and Atlanta Audubon Society members. Advance reservations are required at 404.929.6400. Participants should check in at the Museum ticketing counter, then meet the walk leaders in the Museum lobby. The group will depart promptly at 8:00 a.m. Due to the nature of the program, latecomers will not be accepted. 

Sunday April 19th Atlanta History Center 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Spring migrants and residents such as warblers, woodpeckers, raptors, thrushes, flycatchers, sparrows, finches, and other passerines. This bird walk is recommended for beginner birders and families with children over 10. Please note that no dogs or strollers are allowed. 

Sunday April 19th Noonday Creek Trail (west section) 8AM 
Birding Focus: Migrants and permanent residents in wetland and woodland habitats. Likely species include Great Blue Heron, woodpeckers, thrushes, warblers, and vireos. Any level of skill is welcome. 

Tuesday April 21st Cochran Shoals, CRNRA 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Permanent and lingering winter residents, including waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers, and warblers. The leader will also help us find flora, amphibians and reptiles, and butterflies. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog. 

Wednesday April 22nd Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Migrating flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, warblers, tanagers, and grosbeaks. All levels are welcome. 

Thursday April 23rd Reynolds Nature Preserve 8AM 
Birding Focus: Migrant and resident woodland birds, including woodpeckers, warblers, and vireos. Barred Owls are sometimes encountered at this site. 

Friday April 24th Fort Yargo State Park 10AM 
Birding Focus: Fort Yargo State Park has some real interesting habitat on a very easy walk, the Bird Berry Trail. It is handicapped accessible, too. There are some really nice marshland areas, 275 acre Lake Marbury, and nice mixed hardwood forest. We will look for a variety of spring migrants and permanent residents, including woodpeckers and warblers.  

*Saturday April 25th Woodlands Garden and Decatur Cemetery 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Woodlands Garden is a 7.1 acre privately owned, non-profit preserve near downtown Decatur, comprising mature deciduous and pine forest, plants and shrubs, with streamside and upland habitat, which is being actively managed to protect and promote native plant species. In addition to the usual urban forest species, we'll see some spring migrants. Sixty-five species have been recorded there in the past couple of years. New birders are welcome. No dogs are allowed. For those interested, we will then move by car to nearby Decatur Cemetery, Metro Atlanta's oldest cemetery comprising 58 acres with mature trees, wooded edges, and water features. This is a great site for Eastern bluebirds and Red-headed woodpeckers. 

Saturday April 25th Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Migrating flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, warblers, tanagers, and grosbeaks. All levels are welcome. 

Sunday April 26th Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Migrating flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, warblers, tanagers, and grosbeaks. All levels are welcome. 

*Tuesday April 28th Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Migrant and resident birds. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog. 

Wednesday April 29th Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Migrating flycatchers, vireos, thrushes, warblers, tanagers, and grosbeaks. All levels are welcome. 

Saturday May 2nd Piedmont Park 8AM 
Birding Focus: We'll be looking for migrants and permanent residents. All levels welcome. Excellent for beginning birders or those desiring gentle terrain. 

Sunday May 3rd Noonday Creek Trail (east section) 8AM 
Birding Focus: We will work along the 'sparrow field' in hopes of finding sparrows and other grass/weed-loving birds. Next it's on to the large, grassy 'water control bowl' and its dense riparian corridor for more sparrows, wrens, and migrants. Once the sun has warmed up the shadowy, brushy corridors and fields just north of the parking lot, we'll finish here in hopes of encountering some flocks with migrating and resident birds. Any level of skill is welcome. 

Tuesday May 5th Cochran Shoals, CRNRA 7:30AM 
Birding Focus: Permanent and lingering winter residents, including waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, woodpeckers, and warblers. The leader will also help us find flora, amphibians and reptiles, and butterflies. This walk is suitable for adults and children over 14 years of age. Please do not bring your dog.

Hope to see you soon, 
Linda, Brittany, Jessica, Jeremy & Greyson 

The Garden Enthusiast - Backyard Nature Station 
2316 D Main Street Tucker, GA 30084 

Hours: Monday – Saturday 10am – 6PM Sunday: Closed 
Contact us at 404-474-7072 or [email protected] – we love to get your feedback!

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