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Archives for January 1, 2018

A Boutique Hotel in New Orleans’s Garden District

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The Henry Howard Hotel is inspired by the past of both the building and the city.

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Jan. 1, 2018

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The Henry Howard Hotel in New Orleans.CreditKathleen Fitzgerald

Rates

From $209

Basics

While most visitors to New Orleans want to be in the heart of the city’s dynamic French Quarter, there’s no denying that its boisterous vibe doesn’t appeal to all travelers. Fortunately, there’s a more relaxing option a streetcar ride away in the Garden District. The 18-room Henry Howard Hotel, a historic double-gallery townhouse, was built by the acclaimed architect Henry Howard in 1867 as a mansion for Edward Conery, a steamship owner and ship chandler, that he later bestowed to his two daughters. After years as a rundown inn, the New York-based Fitzgerald Hotel Group modernized the property while maintaining structural elements for its opening in February 2016. Local culture is tastefully celebrated throughout, from snare drums used as coffee tables in the ground floor parlor to the second line brass instruments hanging above beds in each guest room. The designer Lauren Mabry of Hunter Mabry Design pulled inspiration from both the building and the city’s past for a stunning interior overhaul that is both fun and elegant, and unlikely to date itself.

Location

Located in the lower Garden District, only a 10-minute taxi ride from the French Quarter, the hotel sits a block away from St. Charles Street (also known as the Mardi Gras route). The restaurants, bars and antique shops of Magazine Street are a short walk away, as are several of Henry Howard’s other architectural projects that are worth checking out.

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The parlor at the Henry Howard Hotel.CreditKathleen Fitzgerald

The Room

Our Queen Superior room was located in the north wing, accessible from an outdoor covered corridor, overlooking a nearby parking lot. It was smartly decorated, with red pine hardwood floor, custom toile wallpaper featuring New Orleans icons like the steamboat and the St. Charles streetcar, an iron bed canopy, a mounted trumpet, vintage chairs done up in a black and white stripe fabric, and oil portraits by the local artist Hayley Gaberlavage. But it was a cramped fit for two people. The dressing table was small but helpful in the absence of a closet large enough to properly store our luggage (there was only hanging storage).

The Bathroom

The bathroom was perched on the mezzanine level of our room, which was a nice separation from the main living space, but given its small size, there was limited room to place our toiletries. The standout feature was the goat-milk bath and body products from Beekman 1802.

Dining

There is no restaurant on the premises nor a room service menu. Aside from the complimentary breakfast of fresh orange juice, croissants and muffins from the local Laurel Street Bakery that is served on weekends in the downstairs Parlor, you’ll need to dine elsewhere. Fortunately, there are excellent options nearby, like District Donuts for coffee and breakfast, Joey K’s and Shaya.

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A room at the Henry Howard Hotel.CreditKathleen Fitzgerald

Amenities

The property offers free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, local snacks (Zapp’s potato chips, Slow Low rye whiskey) and useful items like Southern Rhoades bug spray in each room for a charge, plus complimentary coffee from Revelatory Roasters, a local specialty coffee roaster. The hotel has partnered with Franco’s Gym on Magazine Street and City Surf for guests who wish to get in a workout for an extra fee.

The Bottom Line

The lack of on-site dining aside, there’s no mistaking the appeal of this sharply designed boutique property in a neighborhood that was sorely lacking in quality lodging. But to truly make the most of your stay, book Royal Queen rooms and above for more space and greater comfort.


Henry Howard Hotel, 2041 Prytania Street, New Orleans, 504-313-1577. henryhowardhotel.com.

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Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/01/travel/boutique-hotel-new-orleans.html

Art & The Bloom exhibition is Jan. 11-14

Art The Bloom includes courses in floral design, botanical illustration, terrariums, millinery fashion shows, raffles and more.

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH – Leading floral designers in North Carolina will gather in Wrightsville Beach to showcase their floral creations inspired by fine art Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 11-14.

The four-day Art The Bloom exhibition and competition includes expert courses in floral design, botanical illustration and art, building terrariums, millinery fashion shows, raffles, and a presentation-book signing for “Gardening in the South: The Complete Homeowner’s Guide” by Mark Weathington, director of Raulston Arboretum at N.C. State University.

“Our first year was a huge success,” said co-chair Barb Bittler, member of the New Hanover Garden Club. “The artwork was from a collection at Cameron Art Museum. This year’s artwork will come from private collections and the Wilmington Art Association. Floral designers receive their art assignment from a blind draw weeks before the event.”

“The judges this year are Frances Thrash from Virginia and Pam Braun from Tennessee,” she said. “Both are nationally accredited judges and Flower Show School instructors through the National Garden Club.

Friday morning, Thrash will create four different floral designs. Friday afternoon, Braun will discuss botanical arts, a new division in flower shows for the National Garden Club.

Preston Montague, a botanical illustrator from Durham, will present a workshop on how to make greeting cards from what you might find in your garden. Montague is the creator of the Codex Carolinum alphabet series, using native or naturalized plants of North Carolina to encourage natural science literacy.

Kim Fisher, a local floral designer originally from Washington, D.C., will be leading a workshop in how to create a terrarium out of succulents. Fisher’s experience includes floral design for several presidents and the Catherine Zeta-Jones wedding.

“Floral design winners receive a beautiful ribbon, a cash award and bragging rights. Last year’s Best of Show winner, Brittany Wells of Verzaal’s Florist in Wilmington, is returning to defend her title,” Bittler said.

Weathington will present his new book and host a book signing on Sunday afternoon.

New Hanover Garden Club, organizer of Art The Bloom, is federated through the National Garden Club and Garden Clubs of North Carolina. The event’s proceeds will benefit gardening projects for nonprofit organizations. All activities will be held at host hotel Blockade Runner Beach Resort.

Story idea? Contact the StarNews Community News desk at Community@StarNewsOnline.com or 910-343-2364.

Article source: http://www.starnewsonline.com/entertainmentlife/20180101/art-amp-bloom-exhibition-is-jan-11-14

Be good stewards in this journey called life!

“Look not back on yesterday so full of failure and regret. Look ahead and seek God’s way, all sin confessed you must forget.” Dennis DeHaan.

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” Edith Lovejoy Pierce.

Today marks the ending of one year and the beginning of another. The door to the new year will open in a few hours. January will be here as each passing day will bring us closer and closer to springtime.

Bring in the new year meditating on spiritual growth with encouraging and enlightening reading to inspire a renewed walk in faith with God and a profound commitment to living as such. This is a great season to reflect on the renewed and living hope we have in this life and beyond. We can trust God in the year ahead for He has good plans for our future. Be good stewards in all that we have been given in this journey called life!

While kicking back with a good book, a movie, surfing the web or simply watching the final bowl games of the season, take the time to plan and schedule things such as your springtime landscape and construction activities. While you are thinking ahead to the spring, please take the following points into consideration.

End of year savings at the stores: This is a good time to purchase any needed items at a significantly discounted price. These savings mean more bang for your buck thus minimizing your project expenses.

Sketch before digging or building: Always plan your steps in the landscaping process. Part of the planning involves sketching your ideas onto paper. Do the math! Determine the quantities of plants needed, the volume of materials necessary, and the costs to complete your project. This approach will help you determine exactly what you need and avoid wasting your hard-earned dollars.

Pursue the right resources: As you begin your planning, do the necessary research to find the professional assistance needed to determine economic savings with minimal waste from start to finish. Find the right personnel who will give you sound and accurate advice. This resourceful support and information may be partial or for the entirety of the project. The price you pay for an hour of consultation could prove priceless, especially if it saves you money on designs, plants, supplies and other items, as well as preventing costly errors.

Complete your project in phases: Very few people have the necessary and available financial resources to landscape their site or property all at once. Identify the use areas (public, private and service) and divide your project into phases over the next few seasons or years. This approach will be a “pay as you develop” with current funding on hand which will save you on credit or loan costs and fees. Also, you will be able to assess your progress within each phase and make any necessary changes or modifications before moving to the next phase. Do keep each phase on a time schedule to keep your family happy and interested in the project.

Look at price and quality: You should never assume that cheaper is better! You always get what you pay for, so if you go cheap you may end up with low quality and a less desirable space. Your planning choices should include all types of retail outlets from warehouse to specialty shops to determine the best investment for you. Also, when (time of season) that you buy can be very critical in so far as being a bargain or not.  It is best to buy lumber in the winter, Christmas decorations about the first of the year, plants in middle or late season, equipment in the off-season, etc. What about personal service, expert advice, guarantees, and rebates? Are these available? And, if you are planning specialized hardscapes, seek a specialty company rather than a general installation company that seldom deals with hardscapes.

Effective shopping and buying: Develop an instinct for finding the real deals. Always accept cheaper when it’s good enough and you know for sure that quality is not sacrificed. With some items, there’s very little difference in quality between first class and economy. (Like in a plane, both sections will arrive at a destination together so are you willing to pay extra for the comfort since timing is equal?) What is the extra costs providing you?

Online shopping and mail-order sources: Research catalogs and websites to expand your choices and buying power. Shopping online or by phone does offer a convenience but be assured of product quality and availability. Be certain that the company you are dealing with is reputable and not a scam. Also, are handling, shipping taxes, and other costs added to the purchase price? If so, is it now such a bargain? Buying local does make accessibility more convenient and much simpler.

Check alternate resources: As you follow through in the shopping process, look beyond stores and catalogs for bargains and good deals. Be reminded that arboretums, botanical centers, and school programs often have plant sales and may have exactly what you need. Also, keep an open line of communication with your neighbors and friends who may have extra annuals and perennials that they will share. Furthermore, cities and municipalities may offer free mulch and compost throughout the year, and construction and demolition sites may be sources of bricks and stones. By being very aware of your surroundings and what is going on in your communities, you will be one of the first to know about such opportunities.

Adapt sharing opportunities: Through friends and neighbors, you can share equipment and tools. Also, this becomes another way to be sociable and neighborly. If you are planning on renting a tiller, chipper, tractor, trencher or other piece of equipment, always plan in a manner that will provide best investment and wise use. Check with your friends and neighbors for the possibility of renting and sharing costs to complete all projects in a certain time frame.

Sustainability:  In all that you do in your landscape, think towards low maintenance and sustainability. Always make those choices that are environmentally-friendly and cost effective. Think native plants.

May your horticultural efforts provide you with an atmosphere filled with ornamental appeal, spiritual contentment, and personal safety and happiness throughout this new year. As celebrations bring in the new year, don’t drink and drive and don’t text and drive – keep focused. Call a taxi or use a designated driver to get you home safely.

Also, enjoy some more football as the post-season bowl games continue with Georgia and Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl Playoff Game and Alabama and Clemson in the Sugar Bowl Playoff Game with the winners meeting at The Benz in Atlanta next week for the National Championship. Kudos to Coach Kirby Smart et. al. and these Georgia Bulldogs! Go Dawgs! And many blessings to everyone in this new year as you face new challenges and reach new plateaus in this journey called life. Have a Happy and Blessed New Year throughout 2018!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

Eddie Seagle is a Sustainability Associate, Golf Environment Organization (Scotland), Agronomist and Horticulturalist, CSI: Seagle (Consulting Services International), Professor Emeritus and Honorary Alumnus (Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College), Distinguished Professor for Teaching and Learning (University System of Georgia) and Short Term Missionary (Heritage Church, Moultrie). Direct inquiries to csi_seagle @yahoo.com.

Article source: http://www.moultrieobserver.com/news/lifestyles/be-good-stewards-in-this-journey-called-life/article_73cd14c2-ed93-11e7-afa5-7f7f78c82c52.html

Gardening calendar – Entertainment & Life – News Chief – Winter …

INTRODUCTION TO FLORIDA-FRIENDLY LANDSCAPING: 10 a.m. Jan. 4, Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve, 945 Mackay Blvd., Lake Alfred, free, for required registration call Parks and Recreation Department at 863-291-5272 or aquinones@mylakealfred.com. Presented by Patsy Glasscock. The nine principles that make up Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program in Polk County.

GROWING AND COOKING WITH COOL SEASON VEGETABLES: 10 a.m. to noon, Jan. 5, Lakeland Electric, 501 E. Lemon St., Lakeland, free, Learn how to grow cool season vegetables as well as how to harvest, preserve and prepare foods with them, register for all workshops at www.polkgardening.eventbrite.com. For questions, contact j.schelb@ufl.edu.

GARDEN CLUBS

Barefoot Gardener Organic Garden Club

Members share knowledge on how to grow or where to obtain local, organic fruits and vegetables through the Yahoo group, the website, Facebook, classes or field trips.

When: Visit www.thebarefootgardener.org for events

Contact: 863-904-8620, pegjeffcamp@yahoo.com

Plant City Garden Club

Jan. 8: Speaker James Reed, owner of Three Pines Tree Farm on Bugg Road. Flower therapy after meeting. Bud vases.

When: 10:15 a.m. coffee; 10:30 a.m. meeting, second Mondays

Location: The Walden Lake East Community Center, 1304 Teakwood Drive, Plant City

Contact: Lisa Firm at 813-404-4922, www.plantcitygardenclub.org

To be included in the Garden Notes calendar, notices must be sent prior to each meeting. Include information about where and when the meeting or event will be and what the meeting topic will be by noon Wednesday to publish Friday. Must be open to the public. Send to The Ledger, P.O. Box 408, Lakeland, FL 33802, email features@theledger.com.

 

Article source: http://www.newschief.com/entertainmentlife/20171228/gardening-calendar

Christmas tree collection in Sarnia is the week of Jan. 8

Christmas trees that have done their duty will be collected in Sarnia during the week of Jan. 8.

 

But, city officials are urging residents to not set them out at the curb until the evening before their normal garbage collection day that week.

“They can put it out after 6 p.m. the night before,” said Mike Berkvens, Sarnia’s director of engineering.

The city’s website notes setting trees out earlier contravenes Sarnia’s Waste Collection bylaw.

There are reasons for that.

Set out too early, trees can end up buried in snow or blown onto a neighbour’s yard.

“If it’s a windy day, the trees can blow down the streets and cause havoc to the roadways,” Berkvens added.

Trees can always be left outside next to the garage or in the yard until they are taken to the curb for collection day.

If a tree set out at the curb ends up buried in snow, it is the property owner’s responsibility to dig it out for collection, the website notes.

Tree should also be cleared of decorations and not be wrapped in plastic.

The city’s website says trees that are put out to the curb wrapped in plastic, still holding ornaments or with the stand attached will not be collected.

Christmas trees are trucked to the city’s compost site on St. Andrew’s Street.

“They’ll be stored up and then in the spring time we’ll chip them with the rest of the brush,” Berkvens said.

The city doesn’t have the staff to clear trees of plastic bags or ornaments before chipping.

“Once they’re chipped they will be sold to the public in the spring time for putting into flower gardens and landscaping,” Berkvens said.

Berkvens said residents can also set out brush for collection that week.

“The brush needs to be bungled in accordance with the requirements for pick up,” he said.

But, the week of Jan. 8 is the one chance this winter to have Christmas trees picked up as part of the city’s waste collection.

“Otherwise, you’ve got to wait until April when we do the next (brush) collection,” Berkvens said.

The Recycling Council of Ontario and Forests Ontario says most municipalities in the province have curbside pickup or drop-off depots for Christmas trees.

In Toronto, the 100,000 trees collected are chipped into mulch used as compost in city parks.

In some places, such as the Royal Botanical Gardens near Hamilton, discarded trees are placed along streams to help protect against erosion, and provide habitat for fish and wildlife, the council said in the news release.

Property owners with the space may also decide to leave them out in the yard to provide winter cover and habitats for birds and small animals.

Crafty folks have also been known to turn small branches from Christmas trees into rustic hooks and slice the trucks into drink coasters, the council said.

But, burning a Christmas tree in a woodstove or fireplace isn’t a good idea, unless it has time to dry out, at least over the summer.

The agencies note a Christmas conifer is not a good fuel until the moisture level is below 20 per cent.

“Artificial trees are not recyclable as they are usually composed of a mix of plastic and metal, which make them difficult to disassemble,” said Jo-Anne St. Godard, executive director of the council.

“The value of real Christmas trees is that they can maintain value in other ways once the holiday season is over, whether through composting or other uses.”

pmorden@postmedia.com

 

Article source: http://www.theobserver.ca/2017/12/31/christmas-tree-collection-in-sarnia-is-the-week-of-jan-8

The story of the White House’s famous magnolia tree

On a warm day in September 1961, Rachel Lambert Mellon, known as Bunny, sat on a white bench on the White House lawn, underneath a stately magnolia tree, waiting to meet with President John F. Kennedy. Clad in Balenciaga, her posture ramrod straight, she looked the picture of aristocratic confidence. But in reality, she was anxious.

A month earlier, first lady Jackie Kennedy, Mellon’s best friend, had called to alert her that the president was going to ask her to redesign the White House Rose Garden. Hours later when he made the request during a picnic lunch on the beach at Mellon’s Cape Cod home, she initially resisted. Yes, she had created magnificent gardens at her estates in Upperville, Virginia, and the Cape, but Mellon told the president that she lacked the professional training to tackle this historic spot.

“As an amateur, I questioned my ability to design a garden of such importance,” she later wrote in an essay for White House History. “Paying little attention to that doubt, he bubbled with enthusiasm, with fascinating details of how he wanted a garden to appeal to the most discriminating taste, yet a garden that would hold a thousand people for a ceremony.”

For their first official White House meeting, she had brought along the Harvard-trained Washington landscape architect Perry Wheeler. Waiting for the president, they looked around the garden outside the Oval Office for inspiration, notably the handsome magnolia tree towering overhead. Andrew Jackson planted the specimen in honor of his wife, Rachel, who died shortly after his 1828 election.

Now that nearly 200-year-old tribute to presidential love is in its final days. As reported last week, the Trump White House has decreed that the damaged and decayed Jackson magnolia be torn down. This decision appears to be based on horticultural realities rather than issues of taste. Trump admires Jackson; in January he placed a portrait of him in a prominent place in the Oval Office.

First ladies often preside over decisions involving the White House grounds and gardens. According to CNN, Melania Trump opted to tear down the tree after reading recommendations by the U.S. National Arboretum and consulting with her staff.

One key staffer brings a special sensitivity to the landscaping at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue: White House social secretary Rickie Niceta, who is married to Bunny Mellon’s grandson Thomas Lloyd, knew her well.

When I was researching my biography of Mellon, who died in 2014 at the age of 103, I learned that the Jackson magnolia had been key to her redesign of the Rose Garden. John Kennedy had asked Mellon to create the equivalent of an elegant outdoor stage set for use as a backdrop for ceremonies and entertaining.

Mellon was baffled by how to create a unifying design until she strolled by the Frick Collection in Manhattan on a chilly day and spotted three magnolia trees, stripped of their leaves. “Their pale silvery branches with heavy twigs seemed to retain the light of summer,” she wrote.

Installing magnolias inspired by the Jackson tree turned out to be a complex task. After searching for mature specimens, Mellon fell in love with trees in one of most scenic spots in Washington, the Tidal Basin. The National Park Service turned down her request to uproot the trees; White House head gardener Irvin Williams had to pull strings to make it happen.

The Park Service then expressed concerns that digging so deep near the White House to plant the magnolias might disrupt underground cables. “Their only solution seemed to be to abandon the idea of any trees,” Wheeler wrote to Mellon. She and Wheeler won that argument.

But the Park Service’s concerns proved prescient. On March 31, 1962, a workman with a shovel accidentally severed the connection between the president’s office and the Strategic Air Command, which would have allowed Kennedy to launch a nuclear attack.

This created a momentary crisis, but Mellon insisted that the president did not complain to her. “This startling experience was handled with calmness; not even the president reprimanded us for the deep digging,” she would later write.

Now these magnolias, planted more than a half-century ago, will remain a touchstone to another era. With respect for the historic significance of the Jackson magnolia, the White House hopes eventually to replace its storied boughs with seedlings grown from the original.

Gordon is the author of “Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend.”



Article source: http://www.heraldcourier.com/opinion/the-story-of-the-white-house-s-famous-magnolia-tree/article_f2a1d829-165e-5e34-8e08-e1f32b991502.html

IN THE GARDEN: How to attract birds in winter – Times Telegram

Migrating birds and the ones that stay in our area appreciate food and shelter this time of year. Birds also need a water source to stay hydrated.

Consider these tips to attract birds this winter.

• Keep water flowing: Give birds a fresh drink. Set out a shallow bowl of clean water at the same time and spot each day, and just bring it back inside when ice forms.

There also are heated birdbaths you can buy and even birdbath heaters.

Never add glycerin or antifreeze to any water source; both can be fatal to birds and other wildlife.

• Cold weather food: Suet is the best food source for winter birds; it provides extra calories for the birds to stay warm.

Suet is composed of mixtures of animal fats and can be purchased or homemade.

A suet cage is a wire basket designed to contain the suet cakes. Suet is

best used in the cold months; warmer temperatures will cause it to go rancid.

You also can give the birds a high energy food boost simply by smearing pine cones with peanut butter and then rolling them in birdseed.

• Warm cover: With trees and shrubs dropping their leaves, birds seek evergreens for warm cover.

Bird houses also will provide shelter.

You also can consider stacking dead twigs, pruned branches and other garden debris in a loose pile. This gives birds such as song sparrows quick cover as they move along the ground.

• Learn to recognize birds and their habits: Visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, www.allaboutbirds.org, for more information, including building feeders and nest boxes. If you are serious about birds, consider joining a citizen science program such as Project FeederWatch (www.feederwatch. org), which tracks bird movements in winter.

Rosanne Loparco is a master gardener volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extensionof Oneida County. Look for more gardening tips in the Times Telegram or online at www.cceoneida.com.

Article source: http://www.timestelegram.com/entertainmentlife/20171231/in-garden-how-to-attract-birds-in-winter

IN THE GARDEN: How to attract birds in winter

Migrating birds and the ones that stay in our area appreciate food and shelter this time of year. Birds also need a water source to stay hydrated.

Consider these tips to attract birds this winter.

• Keep water flowing: Give birds a fresh drink. Set out a shallow bowl of clean water at the same time and spot each day, and just bring it back inside when ice forms.

There also are heated birdbaths you can buy and even birdbath heaters.

Never add glycerin or antifreeze to any water source; both can be fatal to birds and other wildlife.

• Cold weather food: Suet is the best food source for winter birds; it provides extra calories for the birds to stay warm.

Suet is composed of mixtures of animal fats and can be purchased or homemade.

A suet cage is a wire basket designed to contain the suet cakes. Suet is

best used in the cold months; warmer temperatures will cause it to go rancid.

You also can give the birds a high energy food boost simply by smearing pine cones with peanut butter and then rolling them in birdseed.

• Warm cover: With trees and shrubs dropping their leaves, birds seek evergreens for warm cover.

Bird houses also will provide shelter.

You also can consider stacking dead twigs, pruned branches and other garden debris in a loose pile. This gives birds such as song sparrows quick cover as they move along the ground.

• Learn to recognize birds and their habits: Visit the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, www.allaboutbirds.org, for more information, including building feeders and nest boxes. If you are serious about birds, consider joining a citizen science program such as Project FeederWatch (www.feederwatch. org), which tracks bird movements in winter.

Rosanne Loparco is a master gardener volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extensionof Oneida County. Look for more gardening tips in the Times Telegram or online at www.cceoneida.com.

Article source: http://www.timestelegram.com/entertainmentlife/20171231/in-garden-how-to-attract-birds-in-winter