Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hardscapes for Wildlife

Great post on benefits of varying hardscapes, using paths, mounding soil, using rocks and fallen timber, and much more. Make a diverse home for plants, insects, birds, and frogs.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Gardening for Global Climate Change

Brilliant conversation and list of ideas to help our landscapes stop putting so much pressure on our planet. Of course, one of my favorite ideas has to do with taking out lawn:

"Remember that the south and southwest yards in most landscapes are often the hottest spaces (unless they’re shaded by trees or other buildings), and realize that lawn grass is hotter than any other kind of ground cover. So, to help cool the house, minimize lawn directly outside south walls."

Other good things to think about:

-- Don't rake up your leaves, encourage leaves. They are free mulch and are super fertilizer for your soil--so much so you don't need to buy petrochemicals from energy-intensive companies (in fact, you never have to do that).

-- Reduce electricity demand. Half of all water goes to energy production in the U.S. Among other things, that means planting shrubs and trees in areas that cool / warm the house depending on season.

-- Plant smaller trees. They've been maintained not as long with chemicals and energy and will establish faster than bigger trees. My smaller trees certainly do establish faster and were far cheaper.