Voice of the Land
Your yard and home can provide trimmings for holiday finery By Carol O’Meara, Special to the Rocky Published November 28, 2008 at 3 p.m. Nature can supply materials for a holiday wreath built from cuttings from your yard plants. Holiday revelers looking to add style to outdoor displays don’t need to blow the budget on […]
Rain gardening is capturing runoff and recharging ground water. Ecological landscape concepts means everything is connected and native plants are sustainable. Rain gardening helps make habitats and conserve vegetation of rare and endangered plants. Nancy Eastman
A NASA scientist used satellite mapping techniques and statistical analysis to calculate the area of lawns, golf courses, and other turf-covered landscapes in the U.S. The study’s author, Cristina Milesi, estimates that 32 million acres—three times more than corn—are irrigated in this country. In our region over 50% of household water use during the growing […]
Plants native to a particular place have evolved over millennia to provide food and shelter for native wildlife. This balance between plants and animals is disrupted when the land is settled. Our landscapes can work toward bringing back native plants that are better adapted to our climate, use fewer resources than introduced plants, and create […]
The best way to have a healthy landscape is to mimic the way nature takes care of its own. In nature plants and animals all have their own place—providing food for something else. Insect outbreaks are a normal part of the natural cycle of nature. Another insect species or bird will feast on the pests […]
When insect pests attack, your garden plants send out an alert to beneficial insects. A diverse garden has pests and their predators in balanced numbers. Plants produce chemicals to attract the predators to their defense as well as warning nearby plants. So, allow the plants to take care of themselves before rushing in with pesticides.
A typical landscape eliminates the large diversity of plants and animals that once inhabited a place and replaces it with a limited variety of introduced plants. Most native insects and other animals indigenous to the land are unable to feed on these alien plants. Those insects die out when they can’t feed, while birds and […]
Plant roots in natural forests are colonized by soil fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi, which allow additional absorption of water and nutrients. These beneficial fungi also provide the plants with increased tolerance to pH extremes, soil salinity, drought, heat, and soil toxins. Plants with mycorrhizal fungi grow faster, are hardier, and survive transplant shock.
Plants depend on the living nature of the soil. Compost with its abundant organic matter and beneficial organisms renews the biodiversity of the soil and enhances plant growth. The use of compost greatly improves soil structure, improving the movement of air and retention of water within the soil.
There is a growing movement that began in Seattle and is spreading around the world. Meaningful, enlivening conversation at cafe gatherings are taking place to restore something missing from our culture. We want to encourage the exchange of ideas in a congenial, informal atmosphere. See www.conversationcafe.org for the 2008 Conversation Week.