A birthday present
I got a fabulous gift with the birthday money I received from my family:
I had wanted a birdbath to provide a water source for good bugs (and birds too). Being a cat parent of two cherished fur babies, this cat statue birdbath was irresistible. When the weather gets a little warmer, I will plant some annual flowers in the soil around the base of the birdbath.
I've also added more flowering plants for good bugs in the large fabric bed on the patio:
In this container, I've planted four blueberry bushes with alyssum as a "living mulch" and nasturtiums to spill over the perimeter. I'm going to try growing melons in that big blue pot in the background, but it's a little too early for that yet.
Of course, blueberries produce tasty edible fruit (and birds enjoy eating them too). The bushes are highly ornamental in the fall when their leaves turn red; they're just starting to put out new leaves now. It can be easier to care for container-grown blueberries because they prefer acidic soil; it's easier to adjust soil pH in a smaller container than in a larger in-ground space. Blueberry leaves are food for multiple species of butterfly and moth caterpillars and the plants will still produce abundant berries even if some of the leaves get chewed up. The flowers attract numerous pollinators and predators of pests.
Alyssum is a wonderful plant for tiny pollinators with its clusters of tiny flowers. The flowers also have a fantastic honey scent which carries on the wind, perfuming the whole garden. Nasturtium is edible and its colorful flowers with peppery arugula-like flavor make delightful additions to salads. Both of these plants are tolerant of acidic soil and adaptable to most growing conditions, which is why I figured they'd make perfect companions to my blueberry bushes.