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This Winter is for the Birds!

I am so grateful for the birds that visit my feeders. They are making this winter bearable for me. I have never seen so much action at my bird feeders and so many different types of birds than I have this winter. I have even noticed the birds are also feeding on the seed heads of the ornamental grasses that I let stand over the winter. I am so glad that I resisted the temptation to cut them this year.

As much as I get enjoyment out of feeding the birds, it has now become crucial for the birds. The harsh conditions this winter sure have made it hard for the birds to find food and when the temperature drops below zero, sleeping birds need bellies full of high calorie foods to keep their little bodies warm right before bed and the first thing in the morning.

Birds also need a source for fresh, unfrozen water in the winter. When the weather turns freezing, a heater or heated birdbath can keep an open water source for birds to bathe and drink. Bathing is especially important in cold weather to keep feathers in top condition and drinking water allows birds to maintain a healthy metabolism to stay warm.

Want to do more to help the birds? One easy and free way is to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count? This annual event will take place February 14-17 and is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. This count is so fun because anyone can take part - we all can learn and watch birds together - whether you are an expert, novice or feeder watcher. So get involved, invite your friends and see how your favorite spot stacks up! What a great family friendly activity for Valentine’s Day and/or President’s Day weekend!

Are you interested in working at Wenke Greenhouses this season? Or maybe you know someone who might be interested? I know it is hard to believe with all the snow on the ground, but we are gearing up for the season and are starting to take applications for seasonal employees for the retail store. We are looking for people who enjoy helping others, have a positive attitude and don’t mind working hard. Plant knowledge if helpful but not required. Check out the article in the Now Accepting Applications section for more information.

We have several events planned for the spring including a tour of our production facility, wine tasting and new variety event and a couple of container garden workshops. Also, did I pique your curiosity with my interest in bucket gardening?  We will be having a class in early April if you are interested in learning more. You can find the full schedule below in the Classes and Events section. Registration for these events is now open. We hope you can join us!

Think Spring everyone and Happy Bird Watching!

Laura Valence

Wenke Greenhouses

Where the Earth Laughs in Flowers


Great Backyard Bird Count

From Michigan to Mongolia, bird watchers from more than 100 countries are expected to participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), the third weekend in February. Anyone anywhere in the world can count birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count days and enter their sightings at www.BirdCount.org. The information gathered by tens of thousands of volunteers helps track the health of bird populations at a scale that would not otherwise be possible.

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Now Accepting Applications for Seasonal Work 2014

We are currently accepting applications for exceptional team members at our retail location!  Looking for cashiers, stockers and customer service people who enjoy flowers, helping people and physical work.  The application is in the read more section. To be eligible, you must be willing to work Saturday and/or Sunday every week from April - Mid June. The minimum age is 16. Our season slows down after Mid-June and so most of the positions end in June. Please visit our location at 2525 N 30th St, Kalamazoo MI 49048 for an application if you are not able to use the one attached.

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Spring Classes and Events 2014

Announcing our line up of classes and events for Spring 2014! For more information or to register, click on the class you are interested in attending or you can visit www.wenkegreenhouses.com and go to the classes/events section.

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Mezoo is a hit!

I love to try different plants in my garden and every now and then I come across a variety that is a real winner. That is how I feel about Dorotheanthus bellidiformis 'Mezoo Trailing Red'. Wow, that is a mouthful, huh? Let's make it easy and just call it Mezoo. I noticed this plant for the first time this past spring. I was looking for a variegated vine that would grow in part sun. Mezoo fit the bill and had pretty little flowers to boot. I planted some in a container with some elephant ears receiving part sun and some in a small container under my covered porch. Both flourished! I loved it and wanted more!

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