Archive by Author
Life and Death For The Win

Life and Death For The Win

Posted 12 March 2010 | By | Categories: fungi, Gardening, Inspirations, Plants | 3 Comments

Pictures of Life and Death Garden Ellerslie Flower Show image by Ben Campbell

Delighted to read that “Pictures of Life and Death,” a garden featuring fungi, lichen and moulds by a team from the Christchurch Botanic Gardens took first place at the Ellerslie International Flower Show in Christchurch, New Zealand this week.

Pictures of Life and Death GardenJeremy Hawker, Christchurch Botanic Gardens Botanical Services Team Leader, describes it as a “dramatic, theatrical exhibit where fungi, mould and lichen will thrive. There will be a sense of being below the earth and looking out to a glimpse of blue sky, hence the name Pictures of Life and Death.” Inspired by the mold in Hawker’s coffee cup, the Botanic Gardens’ team spent months foraging for mushrooms throughout the region that they continued to grow on decomposing logs to include in the exhibit.

The Human Flower Project offers this as an example of bellephobia trending. Technically speaking, fear of beauty is “callophobia,” but only a phobophile would care about such details. I’d like to see it as an example of the dawning recognition that indeed, fungi can be exquisitely beautiful. Look at the love shown for the plant life in Avatar (another winner made in New Zealand and undoubtedly influenced by the work of Paul Stamets).

Here are some gorgeous views of the garden and an interview with Sheena Baines, the co lighting designer, who describes it as “The whole sequence is based on death and life and the cycle. We basically destroy the earth with volcanoes and earthquakes and then we rebuild it. It’s kind of death and destruction spawns new life.”

Green Roofs for Auckland

Green Roofs for Auckland

Posted 27 February 2010 | By | Categories: Green Roofs, Growing Food, Health, Make Things, Plants | 1 Comment

Emily Harris Dream to Reality Entry from Emily Harris on Vimeo.

Emily Harris has a wonderful vision of establishing rooftop gardens for Auckland city-dwellers, so that they can grow their own fresh, healthy food, right on the roof of their apartment buildings.

I’d love to see it become a reality. Let’s make it happen in Wellington too! If you like Emily’s plan and want to help make it a reality, vote for it with a thumbs up at HappyZine’s Dream to Reality competition.

Vegetable Sheep

Posted 20 February 2010 | By | Categories: Gardening, Plants, Vegetables | Comments Off on Vegetable Sheep

Captivated by New Zealand’s vegetable sheep via Anne Galloway (Raoulia and Haastia species, not to be confused with sheep made from vegetables). You can listen to the story of one good sheep captured in Canterbury and sent to the Auckland Museum. If you want to grow these “extremely dense, cushion forming perennial with tightly packed rosettes of overlapping, oblong, gray-hairy leaves,” at home, here are cultivation notes. More beautiful photos and notes at botany.cz.

    1. 8 Most Important Doctors by Malcolm Harker via Love PlantLife

    2. 1. Pure oxygen-rich, nutrient dense water and foods
    3. 2. Sunlight and fresh air
    4. 3. Love and laughter
    5. 4. Appropriate exercise
    6. 5. Bare contact with the earth and elements
    7. 6. Firm breathing
    8. 7. Relaxation, meditation, music and sound sleep
    9. 8. Being at peace with oneself and in harmony with the environment
  • The Foodprint Project, a collaboration between Nicola Twilley (Edible Geography) and Sarah Rich, kicks off a series of international conversations on urban foodscapes and opportunities to transform our edible landscape through technology, architecture, legislation and education. First event: Saturday February 27 in NYC.

  • Homegrown Evolution’s self-irrigating planter resources.
Pollan’s Rules and Oliver’s Schools

Pollan’s Rules and Oliver’s Schools

Posted 12 February 2010 | By | Categories: Food, Health | Comments Off on Pollan’s Rules and Oliver’s Schools

What do we learn about food in school? Not much!

But I always learn something useful from Michael Pollan, here on Democracy Now, discussing the link between healthcare and diet, the dangers of processed foods, the power of the meat industry lobby, the “nutritional-industrial complex,” the impact industrial agriculture has on global warming, and his sixty-four rules for eating from “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual”:

Watching the Jamie Oliver hold up a tomato in front of a classroom of kids who were not able to identify hits in a visceral emotional way. As winner of the 2010 TED Prize his wish is to teach every child about food and empower them against obesity:

(See also Mark Bittman’s talk on What’s wrong with what we eat from 2009 EG conference.)

    Here are some things I’ve learned from the garden this week:

  • Celery: I harvested some celery by completely removing the plant and cut other stalks off at the soil level so I’d know where to put in some new plants. Those that were cut are shooting up new stalks.
  • Of all the plants I expected to be devoured as they are growing up, the broccoli and brussels sprouts would have been last on my list. I imagined the sulfur-containing compounds that make them so healthy for us would be naturally repellent to most insects. Oh how wrong I was — they are being eaten alive by caterpillars (cleverly colored exactly the same green as the leaves) and now attracting what looks like black scale insects at the base. I’ve been using an organic garlic spray along with manually picking off the offenders when I see them.
Tropical Tuesday

Tropical Tuesday

Posted 10 February 2010 | By | Categories: Container Gardening, Food, Gardening, Health, Plants, Seagarden | Comments Off on Tropical Tuesday

Coffee and bananas are staples — essentials — on my shopping list, papaya and passionfruit whenever in season. But usually, I’m referring to the end produce, not the plant. Today, all four plants found their way into my home.

Is there any scent that puts your heart more at ease than roasting coffee beans? Not for me… that’s the fragrance that wafted through the air of my family’s business across from the Folger’s plant in downtown Kansas City when I was growing up. Apparently though, the scent of flowering coffee resembles jasmine so much that it was first described as Jasminium arabica. And it’s recommended as a plant whose fragrance drifts or wafts on the air. Oh how little I know about my favorite first daily drink (or drug, if you insist). Looking forward to getting to know you in a whole new way, coffee!

Banana plants make gorgeous indoor ornamentals even if they never fruit, but I love the idea of cultivating options beyond the corporate banana monoculture. The passionflower vine twining up the pergola in my NYC Skygarden delighted me with its abundant purple blooms. It was sold as an annual but kept going for years. This golden passionfruit vine aka sweet granadilla looked so beautiful with healthy heart shaped leaves in the store, I hope it can thrive here in the windy Seagarden.

Juicy ripe papayas are divine pleasures, and the green fruits make great som tam (a spicy Thai salad). Alas, the Hawaiian papayas sold in the US are genetically modified and the New Zealand stores are filled with irradiated imports from Australia. Excited to see if they will grow here — the leaves and aroma of the plant itself are lovely regardless.

hibiscusflowermandevilla white fantasyTopping off this tropical Tuesday, my parents arrived bearing flowering mandevilla and hibiscus flower plants.

All of today’s additions will enjoy the comforts of container living, moving indoors or out depending on season and Seatoun weather. If you have any secrets for cultivating any of these exotic beauties outside their native environments, I welcome your suggestions.

  • If you like the scent of roasting coffee wafting over you, Wellington is your town! Cafe L’affare is a delightful cafe (with great daily specials) built around the roaster: 27 College St, Wellington, New Zealand 04 385 9748. Mojo Coffee just opened a new roastery and headquarters at Shed 13 on the Wellington Waterfront. What are your favorites?
Who’s Laying Eggs in the Okra?

Who’s Laying Eggs in the Okra?

Posted 07 February 2010 | By | Categories: Plants, Vegetables | Comments Off on Who’s Laying Eggs in the Okra?

who is laying eggs on the okra plants?

This morning as I was moving the okra seedlings to make room for UV film installation on the windows, I noticed each leaf of both the clemson spineless and burgundy varieties had little crystal beads on their undersides. They look like tiny dew drops and feel like tobiko (flying fish roe). That’s eggs. Eggs! Who is laying eggs in my okra?

Okra doesn’t seem to have too many natural pests, and I hadn’t seen eggs like this on any other plant.

Turns out they’re sap beads — not eggs at all, as The 5b Garden discovered before me. In fact, it’s a good sign, boding well for future offspring according to Laura Silver, cultivating Okra on her fifth-floor Brooklyn, New York balcony. Apparently, both okra and orchids can release little sap balls when they’re happy.

Seagarden Log: Weather With You

Seagarden Log: Weather With You

Posted 01 February 2010 | By | Categories: Gardening, Seagarden | 2 Comments

[nggallery id=3]

    [singlepic id=28 w=169 h=300 float=right]

  • The weather station is up and running (though not yet in its ultimate location) and publishing through Weather Underground. See the day in weather at right. Now where are the beautiful Mac OS Weather Station apps? The Firehouse explores the question in detail, but the answer has not yet revealed itself. Do you know?
  • It thrills me no end to be growing chile peppers — or, as they say here, capsicums. The cayenne is full of beautiful green peppers and the jalapeño is flowering. The orange capsicum has three large peppers on it and the red capsicums are beginning to flower as well. The chiles went into a delicious guacamole and a pot of green chilli that hit the spot on this cold, rainy summer day
  • It was in the red peppers and tomato area that I noticed a profusion of young weta or grasshoppers. Will get a better picture to identify the little jumpers.
  • Testing the EasyBloom Plant Sensor near the meyer lemon tree. Full review coming soon. Check out the little lemons!
  • The blueberries seem to be delighted with recent feedings of organic fertilizer for acid-loving plants and a juniper mulch, as they’ve responded with lots of new leaf and berry growth. The tamarillos are growing huge.
  • Yes, we have tomatoes! And crystal apple cucumbers! And feijoas! Today was my first glimpse of all three.
  • The Chilean guava is full of berries that sure look ripe but aren’t yet ready to release. The blackberries grow in clusters but ripen individually; the few I’ve tasted are sweeter than any I’ve had elsewhere. Oddly, the blackberry plant I purchased hasn’t shown much initiative, the fruit has all been plucked from similar vines that arrived on their own volition.
  • The potato plants springing up through the strawberry patch are growing huge, and the brussels sprouts have started to take off, though they’re getting lots of bites on the leaves as well.
  • In the vegetable garden, the arugula has all gone to seed and the spinach is headed that way. I have been reseeding with many exciting greens, but I suspect that was the last time we shall ever see such an orderly pattern of plants in that area.


cos or romaine lettuce, spinach, kale marigold and nasturtium

Lettuce Begin Early

Posted 31 January 2010 | By | Categories: Gardening, Plants, Seagarden | Comments Off on Lettuce Begin Early

cos or romaine lettuce, spinach, kale marigold and nasturtium

I’d noticed greens harvested early in the morning for omelets tasted better and stayed fresh longer than the greens picked in the afternoon or evening. Now I know why — especially for lettuce — during the night, much of the salt contained within the leaves returns to the roots, as the day gets warmer, the salts return to the leaves. Thanks Backyard Homestead, Mini-Farm and Garden Log Book by John Jeavons.

Pictured above (clockwise from top left): spinach, cosmos, nasturtium, marigold, cos or romaine lettuce, lacinato kale, taken on 17 January 2010 in the vegetable garden.

Learning from Gardens, Books and Art

Learning from Gardens, Books and Art

Posted 31 January 2010 | By | Categories: Art, Books, Gardening | Comments Off on Learning from Gardens, Books and Art

 Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Left Panel by Mickey Smith

I’m charmed by this “Collocation No. 14 (NATURE) Left Panel” print by Mickey Smith (and its fraternal twin) from 20×200.com (which is having a ridonkulous sale on their prints through the weekend), and it made me think of Cultivating Failure, Caitlin Flanagan’s attack in the current Atlantic on school gardens for taking away from book learning. To which Kurt Michael Friese at Civil Eats replied best summing up my own thoughts:

Ms. Flanagan has chosen to ignore the core purposes of these gardens, only one of which happens to be cultivating a respect for hard work, and only one other of which is a healthy respect for real food. While she notes that the work of the garden has migrated into each of the classrooms, she ignores the obvious point that this demonstrates: There is nothing taught in schools that cannot be learned in a garden. Math and science to be sure, but also history, civics, logic, art, literature, music, and the birds and the bees both literally and figuratively. Beyond that though, in a garden a student learns responsibility, teamwork, citizenship, sustainability, and respect for nature, for others, and for themselves.

Here in New Zealand, I was touched by Maggie Barry’s story of Seeding for Success showing how a school garden program led by Kataraina Nock at the Edmund Hillary School in South Auckland not only engaged students but families and the community beyond. I’m also excited to see The Garden to Table Trust’s initiative for New Zealand Primary Schools where children aged 7-10 will learn to grow, harvest, prepare and share food. The Garden To Table program was inspired by the Kitchen Garden Foundation in Australia, founded by Stephanie Alexander, whose Kitchen Garden Cookbook and Cook’s Companion are two of the books I’ve been enjoying learning from this week.)

Last week I was reunited with the things I saved while dematerializing and moving to New Zealand. I was excited and nervous to uncrate the art I had loved in New York — would I still find it beautiful or have any emotional connection? Would it even arrive intact? On that front, I am so pleased with the packing and crating by WelPak. They lived up to their name completely.

My father noted how uncanny it was that Marc Quinn’s Garden II series of prints (pictured above in part in New York) fit in so well to the new enviornment. But I wasn’t surprised at all… I remember falling in love and wanting to move in and surround myself with the intense blues and greens, the profusion of wild and vibrant flora, the juxtaposition of species you wouldn’t find together anywhere else. Which would not be an incorrect way to describe where I am now in New Zealand. Perhaps the art in part led me here? What yearnings are revealed in the art that speaks to you?

Opines on Lupines

Posted 23 January 2010 | By | Categories: Plants, Seagarden | 1 Comment

This beautiful bush sprouted up almost overnight in the front natives garden. At first I thought it was gorse due to the yellow flowers, copious seed pods, and speed of conquest. But gorse is a spiky thorny thing, where as this had smooth leaves. Or, as they say at the California Invasive Plant Council, “sparsely pubescent (appearing glabrous), palmately compound leaves.”

The key to identification was the flowers, which reminded me of the lupines that took my breath away riding from Husavik to Akureyri in Iceland. All of a sudden the barren-moon landscape filled up with clean rows of purple blossoms as far as the eye could see. From there, it didn’t take long to figure out it was Yellow Bush Lupine (Lupinus arboreus), designated a New Zealand national plant pest.

The Icelandic Forest Service introduced Lupinus nootkatensis from Alaska in 1945 to prevent soil erosion in barren areas and to nourish the soil by fixing nitrogen from the air. In New Zealand, Lupinus arboreus was planted along coastal sand dune areas in order to provide shelter and nutritional support for Pinus radiata trees, protecting farms from sand encroachment. Both have proven to thrive a bit too well though, and are now considered invasive.

“In New Zealand weeds are almost always plant species that humans have introduced to the country,” according to the Department of Conservation. Many of the plants considered weeds here are ones I tended with love in my New York garden. They include Buddleia davidii, Lantana camara and some species of Passionflower.

It’s not just plants introduced from abroad however, “even a native species can be considered to be a weed in a particular site if it affects an important natural value on that site.” Here are some helpful guides to identifying uninvited plants that are taking over the garden party:

It turns out Lupines are as nutritious and problematic for people as they are for the landscape. Italians eat the seeds as lupini beans in brine, and Egyptians make them into snacks known as Termis. (If you’re in the USA and come across Aisha’s Termis in the grocery store, give it a go — it’s delicious. Intriguingly made in Massachusetts from lupine beans imported from Australia.) I love the springy skin that pops open to a tender inner bean in your mouth.

The problem is the alkaloids in the beans make them bitter and can be poisonous if not prepared properly. Mark Bittman details the days — or longer — it takes to get ready to eat. Barbara at DISH’N’THAT suggests at least two weeks. I love slow food and I love cooking, but “soak, rinse, repeat: Forever.” is not a recipe for me.

So goodbye to you Lu, you pretty, poisonous, pesty plant. I’ll smile and be happy to see you out and about, but I don’t see a future for us growing together.

Terroirist Spy Tools

Posted 20 January 2010 | By | Categories: Make Things, Plants, Technology | Comments Off on Terroirist Spy Tools

Love this Ignite video of Kati London, co-creator of Botanicalls, a device that will let you know when your plant needs watering via Twitter. The Botanicalls system and applications use networked open source hardware and software to allow plants to communicate with people on people’s terms – using the telephone, text messages or twitter.

  • If you’re in Wellington this weekend, check out the linux.conf.au 2010 Open Day of talks, hackfest, makers space and little blu kids area at at Town Hall Saturday 23 January 2010 from 11am to 2pm.

Lotus Lessons

Posted 08 January 2010 | By | Categories: Plants, Seagarden, Spirit | Comments Off on Lotus Lessons

Lotus by David Midgley, 2008, This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License

When collating my dream plants for Seagarden, the lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) was high on my list. With roots in the mud, stems growing up through muddy water, and exquisite fragrant blossoms emerging high above the water untouched, the lotus exemplifies purity and freedom. Heliotropic and self-fertilizing, the lotus is a sacred symbol to Hindus, treasured as one of the eight auspicious symbols in Buddhism, and also revered by the ancient Egyptians, for whom it symbolized the sun, creation and rebirth. And its seeds make a delicious sweet soup I came to love while living in Taiwan, as well as a delectable paste used in many Chinese desserts.

The lotus has inspired significant scientific discovery as well as spiritual. Wilhelm Barthlott studied the Lotus Effect, resolving in an electron microscope the nanoroughness on the leaf surface that repels everything that tries to settle on it, including water, honey, glue, dirt and even fungal spores, leaving it always dry and clean. When a drop of water rolls around it, it picks up the debris and cleans the leaf surface. Today, dozens of self-cleaning products such as paint, glass, roofing tiles, and textiles incorporate the lotus effect. This same quality is now also being used to make solar cells that absorb more energy from the sun, increasing efficiency by up to 25%.

One of the most stunning lotus ponds I’ve encountered is at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, where the images above were taken. The one just above is by Tim Entwistle, Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Trust, who blogs at Talking Plants. The top one is by David Midgley, cc 2008, who also blogs about plants at kipili.com.

As the lotus symbolizes awakening to reality, it was a bit dispiriting to face the reality that lotus plants would be most unhappy in my Wellington water garden. For though they remain untouched by most things, they cannot abide wind and and prefer warm humid temperatures. But I was heartened to discover that water lilies (Nymphaeaceae) might do well.

Water Lily A. SiebertWater Lily George H. Pringwater lily St. Louis Gold

There are two main types of water lilies, hardy and tropical, and between them over 60 varieties. I saw a yellow “Nymphaea Ray Davies,” that I could imagine belting out “Thank you for the days,” but the healthiest plants on offer seemed to be the tropical lilies. So I brought home one each of A. Siebert (pink), Mrs. Geo H. Pring (white) and St Louis Gold (yellow) from Glenbogal, whose site has good information on keeping them happy (as does Nymphaea Fidelity).

  • In this video, Janine Benyus, co-founder of the Biomimicry Institute, talks about Lotusan, self-cleaning facade paint, as an example of the how designers can use biomimicry.
  • Sarah Fain has Starfish Envy is the compelling blog of a lovely lotus chronicling her adventures in self-fertilization.
Daily Om: Healing Gardens

Daily Om: Healing Gardens

Posted 08 January 2010 | By | Categories: Art, Health, Spirit | Comments Off on Daily Om: Healing Gardens

Ganesha, Saraswati, and Jallandharnath (detail), identified here as a copy of folio 1 from the Nath Purana, attributed to Amardas, c1825; opaque watercolour and gold on paper; 47 x 123 cm. Mehrangarh Museum Trust

There are very few email newsletters I remain subscribed to for long, but after many years, the DailyOm, continues to inspire me and often surprises me in addressing an issue or theme that’s top of mind. Today’s Om, Healing Gardens, particularly resonated:

Healing Gardens
Hand in Hand with Nature

Time spent in nature’s embrace is a soothing reminder of the fact that we also are products of the natural world’s ingenuity. We feel at home in a quiet forest and are comforted by the pounding surf of the seaside. In both the sunny meadow and the shaded waterfall’s grotto, stress and tension we have long retained melts away. Finding opportunities to reconnect with nature to enjoy its healing benefits can be difficult, however. Planting and tending a garden allows us to spend time with Mother Nature in a very personal and hands-on way. We work in tandem with nature while gardening—honoring the seasons, participating in the life cycle of various organisms, experiencing the unique biorhythms of our environments, and transcending all that divides us from the natural world. As we interact with the soil, we are free to be ourselves and reflect upon meditative topics. Fresh air invigorates us, while our visceral connection to the earth grounds us.

Though you may plant a garden to grow food or herbs, or for the pleasure of seeing fresh flowers in bloom, you will likely discover that the time you spend working in your plot feels somehow more significant than many of the seemingly more important tasks you perform each day. Whether your garden can be measured in feet or is a collection of plants in pots, tending it can be a highly spiritual experience. You, by necessity, develop a closer relationship with the soil, seeds, water, and sunlight. Nurturing just a single plant means cultivating a deeper understanding of the mechanisms that permit it to thrive. A true healing garden is simply one where you feel comfortable plunging your hands into the earth, lingering over seedlings and plants to observe their growth. And yes, even caressing and talking to plants. Creating beauty through the creative use of space, and giving yourself over to awe when you realize that you have worked hand in hand with nature to give birth to som! ething, is truly wonderful.

The partnership that is formed when you collaborate with Mother Nature through gardening is wonderful in that it provides you with so many opportunities to be outdoors. You will be reminded of not only your connection to the earth but also of your unique gifts that allow you to give back to the earth.

  • The image above is a detail from Ganesha, Saraswati, and Jallandharnath, identified here as a copy of folio 1 from the Nath Purana, attributed to Amardas, c1825; opaque watercolour and gold on paper; 47 x 123 cm, part of the “Garden and Cosmos” exhibition of the royal paintings of Jodhpur organised by the Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in collaboration with the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur, currently on at the Art Gallery NSW in Sydney, Australia through 26 January 2010.
  • The related Divine Landscape self-guided walk pairs paintings in the exhibition with locations in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Their lotus pond takes my breath away each time I visit — it’s one of my favorite heavens on Earth.
  • The Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur, India

  • A huge inspiration for my current Seagarden is the Oberoi Rajvilas (pictured above), also from the Indian state of Rajasthan, but in Jaipur. I especially loved the flowing water throughout the property, deep blue and turquoise ceramic tiles, scent of jasmine flowers permeating the air, private bathing gardens and harmonious combination of sacred temple and secular haveli.
Remote Control Gardening

Remote Control Gardening

Posted 08 January 2010 | By | Categories: Technology | Comments Off on Remote Control Gardening

Le verdure del mio orto

I’ve been watching friends get sucked into FarmVille, a social online game that has them planting, plowing and harvesting and earning a little virtual coin. But what if those vegetables you planted in your browser were actually delivered weekly to your home? Le Verdure Del Mio Orto (‘The Vegetables from my Garden’) lets you build an organic garden from your web browser and offers weekly deliveries from ‘your farm’ in Northern Italy, between Milan and Turin. (Found via Springwise.)

Virtual gardeners first select a plot size according to how many people they’d like to feed: 30m2 is sufficient for 1–2 people and costs EUR 850 per year. Then you can select from 39 types of vegetables for your patch, with information on expected yields and harvest times displayed visually. Optional extras include herb, fruit, flower, and flavor (e.g. garlic, basil, chile peppers) beds, a photo album of the garden’s progress, organic compost, personalization, and even a scarecrow with an image of your face.

Now this is the kind of community supported agriculture I’d really love to support!

  • If you’re dreaming of growing Italian vegetables in your own garden, Franchi is a line of specialty seeds with gorgeous pomodori, melanzane, carciofi,cime di rapa and other marvelous things available at ItalianSeedsPronto.co.nz online in NZ, seedsofitaly.com in the UK and http://www.growitalian.com in the US.
  • If you’re in Wellington and want to order organic veggies grown by Frank van Steensel and Josje Neerincx of Wairarapa Eco Farms online for weekly delivery, sign up at www.simplygoodfood.co.nz.
  • If you want to learn to cook creatively with them, make Maria Pia de Razza-Klein your mentor.
  • Or if you just want to experience them at their best, eat at her trattoria (Maria Pia’s, 55-57 Mulgrave Street, Wellington, phone 04.499.5590).
Solar panel bird box

Solar panel bird box

Posted 14 November 2009 | By | Categories: Technology | Comments Off on Solar panel bird box

solar powered birdhouse It was image of a bungee bird feeder that drew us to The Balcony Gardener, but the solar powered bird box piqued our interest. Why would a bird need a solar panel? During the day, the sunlight charges a small battery, which lights up the perch on the birdhouse attracting bugs to the all-night diner for feathered friends.
solarbirdbox.jpg