Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nebraska Wildflower Week

June 2-10 is a celebration of Nebraska's native plants--and a hope to restore ecosystems and wildlife in any way we can. It starts with gardens of any size, which have become bona fide wildlife reserves.

Each day over the next week I'll be posting about one native flower that grows well in my stubborn clay soil over at my main blog.

Then on June 9th, 10am, I'll be speaking about more plants at Finke Gardens (where you can have some cookies, buy native plants, and get my book--or just meet me).

If you do anything, plant one milkweed and one aster over the next week. These are two very important perennials to have for wildlife, which bloom at two different times during the growing season.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Why You Don't Want or Need Synthetic Fertilizer

Garden Rant is a great blog--posting about large public gardens, environmental issues, doing book reviews, and sponsoring giveways. All with a bit of irreverence and joyful sarcasm by four wonderful women. Case in point, this post about a fertilizer company that contacted them about sponsorship. Use mulch in you garden beds instead and create a thriving soil-based ecosystem that fertilizes on its own for free. If you ever wanted to know why most fertilizer is so bad--and way before it makes it to your landscape--read on.
  1. The Haber-Bosch synthesis that allows you to manufacture artificial nitrogen from the air [for fertilizer production] requires intense heat and wastes colossal amounts of energy.
  2. Plants often can't use these megadoses of nitrogen all in one go.  
  3. The excess nitrogen turns into nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas.
  4. The runoff from excess nitrogen is causing giant dead zones in our oceans [and lakes and rivers].
  5. Artificial nitrogen sets up a vicious cycle that depletes the soil's ability to store carbon and nitrogen.
  6. Edible plants raised on artificial nitrogen taste like complete crap.

Friday, May 18, 2012

More Events in June

My wife and I enjoyed talking with many cool folks who stopped by our table at Earth Day and the Spring Affair plant sale. We sold plants and native bee houses and seeds and photos and my book--and shared in our love for butterflies, of course. It certainly was a humble little table.

Earth Day
Spring Affair
I'll be speaking about some of my favorite native plants on Saturday June 9 at 10am over at Finke Gardens and Nursery. It's free, and Luann might be baking more cookies for you. I haven't decided yet, but I'm thinking about opening my garden that afternoon or Sunday afternoon the next day--if I do open it, I'll say so here.

We'll also be at the Haymarket Farmer's Market on Saturday June 16 from 8-noon in front of the Amtrak station on the sidewalk. I might try to make some more native bee houses, but in a different way since I'm out of hollow plant stems.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nature Boosts Creativity and Intelligence

Research conducted at the University of Kansas concludes that people from all walks of life show startling cognitive improvement — for instance, a 50 percent boost in creativity — after living for a few days steeped in nature.