Q: With Houston’s summer heat soon upon us, what projects can I do in the garden?

A: Many of us have enjoyed this long period of springtime weather to catch up on gardening projects. As the heat returns, this is a good opportunity to tackle projects that require less time. Especially consider quick projects that appeal to wildlife visitors or that you can enjoy from a window while you stay cool inside. 

Listening to the sound of water can be very refreshing during the hot summer months, so adding a self-contained fountain pot, or even a solar-powered birdbath fountain, is a great choice. Be sure to keep the water clean and full and anchor the pumps so water does not spray out of the reservoir. Wildlife like squirrels and raccoons will enjoy sipping water from a fountain or pond as they travel through the garden. 

A birdbath, hummingbird feeder or birdseed feeder placed in the right spot, in front of windows or patio doors, will engage you even from inside your home.  

To make a frog or toad shelter, partially bury a broken clay pot to look like a cave entrance for a perfect hiding spot. Potted bromeliads, with their cup-shaped leaf bases, provide a tiny pond for tree frogs. 

When gathering garden clippings and debris, leave some around garden shrubs as a place for small critters like anoles and skinks to hide in and eat insects.

And of course, be sure to offer plenty of blooms and host plants for butterflies and other pollinators. 

Even when you are indoors avoiding the heat, there are plenty of ways to view and enjoy nature!

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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