SPRING GARDEN NOTEBOOK (BLOG)
Quote of the season:
Perhaps our future status symbols will be based on not how much we consume, but how little impact we each have on our planet. Maybe, just maybe, we will someday be measured in terms of how much of the world’s resources and natural beauty we preserve for future generations.
Neil Diboll, Prairie Nursery
Wildlife are in crisis, as more and more natural areas and open spaces are destroyed by development and industrial farming. Add on pollution, invasive species, global warming, and many other problems caused by human action, and you'll understand why wildlife like...
We humans, including myself, were taught to maintain our gardens unnaturally by growing plants spaced apart ,separated by wood mulch around each plant. If we want a natured based, environmentally friendly garden we must allow plants to spread and fill in all the bare areas of a garden as a living mulch. This is the way nature has been gardening for thousands of years!
A perfectly manicured, green turf grass has been a status symbol since the Industrial Revolution. Everyone could finally afford to have a lawn, not just wealthy estates. But at what costs?
A native garden is like traditional gardens in some ways, but different in other ways. Now we’re welcoming local ecology, natural processes and plants which naturally grow together. Below are a few basic garden maintenance tips everyone should follow.
Summary of my presentation from Chicago Wilderness Wild Things Conference on Feb. 2, 2013 Many of us still think of water or run-off from rain fall, snow melt or irrigation as something we want to remove from our properties as quickly as possible. A waste product. We...
Indigo Bush or False Indigo (Amorpha fruiticosa) is one of my favorite late spring blooming shrubs/small trees. Its deep purple blooms, bright orange stamens and fine textured leaves are a welcoming contrast to the many white blooming, larger leaved native shrubs that bloom about the same time.
By making my own compost, I am adding only pesticide and herbicide free material to my pile, I am recycling what would be considered a waste product with associated costs, I’m generating a resource valuable to my garden and other living organisms, and I’m protecting wildlife which may be present on plant material I cut back.
I do a controlled or prescribed burn (what Native Americans called the Red Buffalo) on sections of my native prairie gardens because there are many benefits. It warms up the soil earlier, adds organic matter, reduces some weeds, and stimulates prairie seeds to sprout. It also takes less time than cutting everything back and and reduces the size of my compost pile.
Just think about what happens in the natural world each spring before starting spring cleanup.
Many folks understand the importance of protecting and supporting nature in our yards. Snags, brush & rock piles, are features sometimes overlooked, but can easily be incorporated into our yards to benefit wildlife.
My husband and I maintain all areas of our landscape organically, especially our lawn, because we believe it is an environmentally responsible and safer choice. Now we have a few weeds in our lawn, but we learned many are beneficial to wildlife.