Plant a garden to attract butterflies and hummingbirds
The right mix of plants can turn your garden into a magnet for butterflies and hummingbirds, adding movement and additional color to the landscape.
Hummingbirds are attracted to brightly colored flowers. But horticulturalist Mark Viette also suggests incorporating a variety of blue, purple and white plants such as blue flambeau, summer phlox, black and blue salvia, lantana, dwarf butterfly bushes and diana or white rose of sharon bushes into your landscape.
“A few shrubs in the backyard will work well to attract butterflies, hummingbird moths and hummingbirds,” Viette said.
He also suggests adding colorful annuals to the perennial plantings. Butterflies are nectar-feeders, and in feeding they also pollinate plants. A mix of spring-, summer- and fall-blooming plants will draw butterflies to your garden for much of the year.
So plan ahead. “Plant the garden where you can sit and enjoy it after a long, hard day,” Viette said.
Driving while drowsy puts lives at risk
You’re driving down the road, yawning. You feel your eyelids drooping and have to fight hard to keep your eyes open. Suddenly you feel the car swerve to the shoulder—or worse—into oncoming traffic. These are the dangers of drowsy driving, which causes accidents daily.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to learn more about drowsy driving, and help reduce related deaths and injuries.
The NHTSA estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year.
When experiencing any signs of drowsiness, pull over to a safe place and take a 15- to 20-minute nap, or change drivers. Turning up the radio or opening the window are not effective ways to stay alert, and drinking coffee or energy drinks alone is not always enough. They may make you feel more alert, but their effects last only a short time.
Fresh asparagus available this month
Available from Virginia farms between mid-April and mid-June, asparagus belongs to the lily family, which also includes onions, leeks and garlic.
A newly planted asparagus crown can take three years to produce, but once it hits its stride, an asparagus spear can grow 10 inches in 24 hours.
After asparagus have been commercially harvested, the remaining spears grow into ferns, which produce nutrients the plants will need next spring.
Thanks to modern transportation, asparagus often is trucked across the country to grocery stores year-round.
To see if asparagus at your grocery store is local, check the packaging. Most stores are identifying the source farm so buyers can see that it's local. Also, the asparagus will be a bright green color, with no browning on the tips.
Spring Couscous Salad
This asparagus salad is a delicious side dish for dinner or a picnic.