Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Earth Days are Easy

Jan, Virgina gardener and blogger (and my FaceBook friend), has started the Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project to high;ight ways in which we garden bloggers are helping to green Mother Earth. She is giving out some very nice prizes too, so if you blog about gardening. Get on over there and join up by 4/15 to be eligible (http://thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/p/garden-bloggers-sustainable-living.html).

In case you didn't know, Earth Day is on April 22, 2010. Usually, my Earth Days are filled with requests from local schools, corporations, retail stores, and civic groups to come and talk to them about gardening and all things green. That is cool woth me, just wish they would spread out their requests and not ask all for the same April afternoon. Because really, every day is Earth Day if you think about it.

I've talked a lot in the past about my greenie initiatives and lifestule. I've written Editor's columns in the magazines about all our eco-practices and memberships in Green America, Local First DC, DCEcoWomen, etc. But I thought I'd take Jan's challenge and break it down to the basics. So here it is, my top 5 SIMPLE things YOU can do this year in your garden to make this planet healthier and happier:

1. Put in a small pond.  Just dig a hole, line it, fill with water, throw in some water plants, and watch the wildlife flock there. No need to make it a complicated science project. Just do it.
2. Eliminate chemicals. Do not use pesticides/herbicides or artificial fertilizers.
3. Retire gas-powered engines. Switch to hand power or electric (if you must).
3. Diversify. Plant a variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, vines, and annuals. Aim to have something in bloom every month of the year and in every section of your garden.
5. Flowers not Lawn. Reduce that turfgrass monoculture and expand those planting beds.

4 comments:

tina said...

Great tips for gardens!

Jan (Thanks For Today) said...

Hi Kathy, I am so happy that you've participated in this project and want to thank you for doing so;-) I can only imagine having to make choices on 'who' and 'where' you can give a talk or three, on earth day--when there are 364 days left when it would be nice if people would recognize it then, as well. Your 5 challenges for the garden are indeed challenges for many of us--although I would really love to put a pond back in. We had one a few yrs. ago but it was under a lot of trees and water lilies didn't survive, not to mention the problem of falling leaves and the difficulty of keeping it clean. If I add one I want to put it in the sun. It may not be something I'll do at this house, but perhaps if we move in the future. Living in 'suburbia' with a HOA, 'grass' is the norm & we would probably get in another 'war' with them if we let it go. We are careful about chemicals but we do have a gas mower. I am trying to have as much variety in plants, including natives, to attract wildlife, bees, butterflies, birds, etc. That's one thing I LOVE and we have gradually been expanding garden areas and beds over the years. I might not be able to do all of your suggestions right now, but they are great ideas. Thanks for the tips and for joining in! Jan

WashingtonGardener said...

Thanks, Tina & Jan for stopping by.
Jan - definitely I'd recommend any small pond be placed in full sun both to allow the water plants to flourish and for less work for you as tree droppings and leaves are a pain. And yes, HOAs, 'nuff said *sigh*.

Helen at summerhouse said...

I like the short and sweet suggestions here. I've managed most of them except the pond. We'll have to make do with our bird bath for now. Even that attracts the wildlife.