The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter
August 22, 2019
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The Weekly Special  |   Get Wild  |   New Arrivals    |  2019 Workshops

All Snakes are Deadly
by Kimberly Bokor

Abby and Maddy Holding a Snake
We all have fears, whether it be heights, public speaking or bugs. My fear? I am scared to death of snakes. It doesn't matter if it's a "harmless" garden snake or an anaconda, they are all deadly in my book. My irrational argument is that if a snake gives you a heart attack, it's deadly.

The best way to overcome a fear is by facing it head on and I recently had an opportunity to do just that. While on vacation, our family visited the Ardastra Zoo in the Bahamas. It was a great place to get close to a lot of different animals and while waiting for our turn to feed the lorikeets, a zookeeper approached with a snake and asked if we would like to hold it. Our girls were a bit apprehensive, but I encouraged them to take advantage of the opportunity and quickly volunteered to be the one taking pictures (a shameless ploy to get myself as far away from the reptile as possible). My tactic worked and both girls got to not only pet but hold a boa constrictor. As soon as they were done, they started begging me to take a turn. It's not a secret in our family that I'm afraid of snakes, so I did something they didn't expect. On the spot I decided that today was the day to face my fear, so I turned my camera duties over to Joey. What followed was the longest 18 seconds of my life, in which the zookeeper attempted to drape my biggest fear around my shaking shoulders. I don't recall the details of the experience beyond feeling my heart beat out of my chest, not being able to breathe and hearing some sort of high-pitched squeak that involuntarily escaped my mouth. These embarrassing photos may give some insight into just how petrified I really was. It took half an hour just for my heartrate to return to normal. I'm not sure that I am going to volunteer for another hands-on snake encounter anytime soon, but I did face my fears head-on, and I think the girls were proud of me for trying (and probably a little entertained by my reaction.)

Kim's Snake Adventure
Fears aside, snakes really are one of nature's helpers and they can be particularly useful in the garden. They eat rodents and even some insects (including pesky grasshoppers). They never chew or damage leaves. They don't dig wide holes or leave behind obvious waste. All in all, they are pretty positive for the environment.

So, the next time you come across a black racer in your garden, be grateful that he's there helping you out. And I'll be thankful that he's in your garden and not mine. They say snakes are more afraid of me than I am of them . . . I say, they're wrong.

Happy Gardening,
The Kerby's Nursery Family

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The Weekly Special
10% off Seeds
When I close my eyes, I see fall gardens and pumpkin spice lattes. Well, we may not be quite there yet, but fresh seeds for the fall and spring season just arrived. Stock up now and get 10% off, this week only.
Offer valid through 8/28/19
Cannot be combined with other offers.
Exclusively for Kerby's Preferred Customers

A Hawk Surverys our Garden

Garden Tip
Gardening for Wildlife

Put your fears aside and get ready to get wild in your garden. Okay, you don't have to go crazy, but one of the things that many of us love about the outdoors is the fact that you see so many cool critters. Just this morning, I saw three bunnies, an uncountable number of squirrels, a mouse (sampling our chicken feed), a hawk, a woodpecker and a variety of other happily chirping birds. That doesn't even start on the lizards, frogs, butterflies and bees. When our yards and gardens are planted not just for us to enjoy, but for all of the earth's creatures, it can make it a really amazing place to enjoy nature. Below are some of our tips for attracting wildlife to your yard. Feel free to get as wild as you like. That's what fences are for, right?

1) Don't be Neat - I know your HOA says that everything has to be perfectly maintained and weed-free. That, unfortunately, is not the way to attract wildlife to your yard. Allowing little areas here and there to become overgrown and unkempt gives little critters a place to shelter and hide. It doesn't have to be your entire yard, so find a spot that is a little more out of sight and let it go back to its natural state.

2) Avoid Pesticide Use - When we spray plants for bugs, we inevitably introduce pesticides into the food chain. Bugs ingest pesticide, birds and critters eat bugs and so on. Consider using natural and organic options such as Neem Oil to treat insect issues when you do have a bug issue that requires attention. And when you can, limit the use of pesticides altogether. Bugs provide a great source of food for lizards, birds and even other cool bugs.

3) Plant a Tree - There is never a bad time to plant a tree. They add value to your home, they keep your garden cool and shaded and who doesn't love a spring picnic under the arching branches of a stately oak or towering maple. And you aren't the only one who will enjoy it. All manner of creatures call trees home. Bees and butterflies, squirrels and birds of all shapes and sizes, we even have a family of racoons that sleeps in the upper canopy of our oak trees. Too few trees and you won't find a lot of wildlife around.

4) Plant Natives - Many native plants are natural food sources for wildlife in the form of leaves, roots, flowers, berries and seeds. Where possible, add natives into your landscape to keep your garden as close to the landscape wildlife is used to as possible.

5) Enjoy - An outdoor game that we love to play with our girls is called Sit-Spot. You sit down and find a spot to look at in a tree or in the yard around you. Then you wait to see what you spot. You'll be amazed at how areas of your yard that look vacant are really teeming with wildlife of all shapes and sizes. So after you've made sure that your yard is the place for wildlife to be, be sure to take time to enjoy the haven you've created for the wildlife around you.

Plants for Wildlife
Simpson's Stopper

Native Foundation Hedge
10" Pot - $17.99

Native Shrub
10" Pot - $19.99

Red Maple Trees

Shelter and Shade
15 Gallon Pot - $149.99
Mystic Spires Salvia

Great for Bees and Butterflies
6" Pot - $7.99

Kerby's Nursery

2311 S. Parsons Ave.

Seffner, FL 33584
(813) 685-3265

Store Hours

Monday - Saturday
9am - 5:30pm
11am - 4pm