Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Share Your Garden

Many people just love to share
their garden experience of what they have tried and grown. The best way to learn some insider tips is to talk to other gardeners. They have many opinions about various subjects in gardening and we try to find some of the more significant topics and experiences so it will save you a step. Maybe you were afraid to try a certain plant from negative info you received, or maybe you found something that is very pretty but can be an invasive nightmare for you, like hummingbird vine. Are all morning glories bad or just bindweed?
(Photo: Buttercups allowed to grow)

A garden can be a big investment in plants, so planting flowers that can be reseeded or volunteer help as well as planting perennials that come up reliably each year and just fill in with some annuals can really help with the gardening budget. No matter what size your garden is, most gardeners love to try something new each season. This entails thinking about how your landscape can be used or if you made it somewhat permanent. (ex: potted mums plugged into holes in mulch)

Learn about your Zone, soil conditions and how your yard may need certain types of plants. Do you have damp soil, sandy soil, mostly clay and rocky soil, or a combination, getting to know your spot could save you a lot of time and money.
Have you ever tried an active Gardening Group?
Fun ways to enjoy the experience of gardening is to trade plant divisions with plant swaps or do seed trading via the regular mail.

< Gardeners love to share photos of their garden.

What Questions do Gardener's Ask..
When first planning I found it great to make a design on paper even if its only for a single bed at first. Make a list of questions:
1. How do I keep the plants healthy without a ton of maintenance?
(Raised beds, mulch, soil amendments, water capacity, shade, mulch)
2. Do some plants like or hate each other? Are some more aggressive?
3. I like perennials but don't like those spots empty with flowers till they bloom.
(Plant colored leafy greens, some daffodil bulbs, or other color combo with varied bloom dates)
4. Are all wild plants weeds, and how do I know if a pretty wild plant won't turn into a weed?
(Cone flowers are essentially wild flowers but do will in a tame garden)
5. What is truely invasive? Can I plant a garden if I want to keep my shade trees?
6. What is an ornimental edible?
7. Are leaves from my trees safe for my compost pile?
8. How do I save seeds and share with others?
9. Do I have to divide my perennials or can I just dig them out when they get too big?
10 If I want to grow more fruit in my yard, how can I do this without poisons?

What if I live in zones 6 - 10?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Making Changes

Simple Living: A Cool Lifestyle for a Hot Planet

Duane Elgin, who introduced Americans to Voluntary Simplicity in the 1970s, believes conscious living can save the world. And the time is now.

This article is a reprint with permission to share if credits are in place. I felt that it stated many important factors. To continue reading the whole article, you will end up going to their site, but its a good read. Please take time to leave comment here and also share any lifestyle changes you made voluntarily or felt you needed to do because of changes in the world. Cher

Lily Pad

Simplicity is not an alternative lifestyle for a marginal few; it is a choice for the mainstream majority, particularly developed nations.
Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

Global trends indicate that a rapidly developing “world storm”—a planetary systems crisis—will push the human family to make deep and lasting changes in our approach to living. We confront many simultaneous challenges: climate disruption; an enormous increase in human populations living in gigantic cities; the depletion of vital resources such as fresh water and cheap oil; the massive and rapid extinction of animal and plant species around the world; growing disparities between the rich and the poor; and the spread of weapons of mass destruction. We are being pushed to wake up and learn to live far more sustainably by making profound changes in our manner of living, consuming, working and relating.

Simplicity is not an alternative lifestyle for a marginal few; it is a choice for the mainstream majority, particularly in developed nations. Even with major technological innovations in energy and transportation, it will be crucial that people embrace simplicity as a foundation for sustainability and change our overall levels and patterns of living and consuming. Fortunately, we can introduce simplicity into our lives in several ways.

A garden of simplicity

For more than 30 years, I’ve explored the simple life, and I’ve found that the most useful and accurate way of describing this approach to living is with the metaphor of a garden. I see seven ways to grow in the “garden of simplicity.”

As with other ecosystems, the diversity of expressions fosters flexibility, adaptability and resilience. Because there are so many pathways into the garden of simplicity, this cultural movement has enormous potential to grow. Consider the seven steps below and how they could help you simplify various aspects of your life.

The multiple meanings of simplicity

Compassionate Simplicity (Humanity)

Simplicity means to feel such a strong sense of kinship with others that we “choose to live simply so that others may simply live.” Compassionate simplicity is a path of cooperation and fairness that seeks a future of mutually assured development for all.

Uncluttered Simplicity (Physical Space and Time)

Simplicity means taking charge of lives that are too busy, too stressed and too fragmented. Cut back on clutter, complexity and trivial distractions, both material and nonmaterial, and focus on the essentials—whatever those may be for your unique life. As Thoreau said, “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”

Civic Simplicity (Community)

Simplicity means a new approach to governing ourselves, recognizing that to live more lightly and sustainably will require changes in every area of public life—from transportation and education to the design of our cities, public buildings and workplaces.

Frugal Simplicity (Personal Finances)

By cutting back on spending that is not truly serving our lives and by practicing skillful management of our personal finances, we can achieve greater financial independence. Frugality and careful financial management bring increased financial freedom and the opportunity to more consciously choose our path through life.

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Friday, 6 November 2009

Snow Peas?

I have been trying to make this blog so that the posts are available but also people can reply to. Im still testing the features, so please bear with me.

I have been putting the garden to bed for the season because I just do not have time to winter garden right now. I was so looking forward to that also. I do have peas in bloom even though there was snow flying around them today. They are determined to keep going. If I had made a plastic dome or cover I probably would have been enjoying peas by now...So does this mean they are snow peas?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Growing Roses in your Garden

I was working in the garden today and wondering what I could do with those long
canes that needed to be trimmed off my rose bushes. It seemed like such a waste of
nature just to toss them to the compost pile.

A couple of very long ones I tried weaving into the open part of one of my garden
arches to fill a large gap for my morning glories to climb on and it worked out! So
I kept the four longest ones and wove them into the top to give the vines more of
a support to attach itself to.

I know from experience that the best trick I ever came up for making my rose s
happy was to tuck banana skins in the soil near the plant. This worked so well that
my rose bush shot up past the 6ft spruce that is growing near it. I didn't have the
heart to cut off the branch just because I wanted to see what it would do!

So finally it bent over in an arch over the garden and produced several dozen red
roses along its length! It was just so pretty! I fear though that this red climber is
the root stock to my original pink rose which the top had died in a winter freeze,
but the hearty stock, even though its red, I feel I can live with this older style and
somewhat wilder rose.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Skills Tour

Skills Tour

The Skills for a New Millennium Tour vision
are going to be in the NY area in September.

• to provide empowered learning to individuals, groups, and youth in order to develop a community skill base that supports social change activism, ecological awareness, and economically sustainable patterns of living.

• to shift patterns of consumption while informing individuals and communities about how to engage in political action that strives for a more ecologically sound, economically sustainable, and socially just world.

Through a series of training workshops and discussions, the Skills Tour improves the capacity of individuals and communities to meet basic needs in a more sustainable way.

Changing the world is not a part time project. This work requires revolutionary ways of living that must be learned over time. Therefore, the skills we offer, grounded in decades of activism and spiritual consciousness, emphasize making marginal lifestyle changes that enhance social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

In order for sustainable community development to be successful people must be able to extract themselves from current models while actively resisting political and economic policies that support the destruction of the environment and the oppression of living beings. The Skills Tour cultivates a knowledge base designed to support people controlling their own lives so that they can more effectively shift from awareness of the problems the world faces today to actively creating the change they desire.

The Skills for a New Millennium Tour offers training to community groups, colleges, high schools, church groups; anyone who wants our training. We understand that community needs are diverse, so we offer a menu of program options to encourage local groups to work with us in order to develop the training series most useful to their community.

The Skills Tour is organized by consensus and functions as a collective.

Note: The Permibus travels around to many states and will be in NY State in September; but will travel by appointment or special event to a location by request.


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

National Public Lands - Get involved and Care

Perpetuating Our Forest Legacy

From the time of Teddy Roosevelt, America's hunters have been strong advocates for protecting our country's unique natural landscapes and resources. In the spirit of this hunter-conservationist legacy, the NFF is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Remington Outdoor Foundation (ROF).

Over the next three years, the Remington Outdoor Foundation will provide $300,000 for restoration projects in areas of vital wildlife habitat within the NFF's conservation campaign sites. This year, the ROF also served as title sponsor of the NFF's annual Sporting Clays fundraising event in New York, which attracts shooters and outdoors enthusiasts who value our National Forests—a sponsorship they hope to continue over the next couple of years.

The generous contribution of the ROF gives the NFF leverage for raising additional funds for on-the-ground conservation work—enhancing and protecting the wild places and public lands so many of us treasure for sport and solace.

National Public Lands Day

Saturday, Sept. 26, marks the 16th annual National Public Lands Day. Events across the country will encourage citizen stewardship and visitation to our National Forests and Grasslands, as well as other public lands. All day-use fees will be waived that day. Launched in 1994, National Public Lands Day began with three federal agencies and 700 volunteers. Last year, more than 120,000 volunteers worked in 1,800 locations in every state, and eight federal agencies now participate. To find out about events taking place near you, visit the National Public Lands Day site.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Plantcycle...What is it?

Plantcycle is the act of sharing or recycling plants to other gardeners. Especially those who are not yet aware they are gardeners! That extra plant that you were going to yank out like a weed, but suddenly thought. "I remember when I got my first one and paid a few bucks for it." Suddenly you have the desire to put it to the curb with a free sign or maybe there is someone who can use this plant. What to do? You come to the right place.
Seed swapping and sharing is also part of the Plantcycle methodology. Once you start collecting and find out just how much fun it can be; you will wonder why you never started sooner! It might start with just one plant, but it grows. Next thing you know you are seeing the seeds of plants instead of just dried up or spent flowers.

Gardening is just one aspect of plantcycle. It's also about the environment and how we perceive it around us. When you begin to change things in the landscape you are also transforming yourself. There is no greater way of understanding the nature of plants than to start working with them and experiencing them.