Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What does GREEN really mean?

What should it mean? Is it purely subjective? Maybe, I don't know. These questions are purely rhetorical. Does green mean sustainable?

Is growing organically being green? I think it depends. If I'm using something like Neem, which comes from trees in the Indian sub-continent (Wikipedia), and it must be shipped thousands of miles, is that really the best use of resources? Even if I'm using it on an organic garden in Kentucky? Or bat guano? Disturbing bats causes their numbers to decline, so is that sustainable or green?

Buying bagged compost that was made in Florida? Is that green? Is that sustainable?

What about lawn mowing, string trimmers, and leaf blowers? Today's mowers are gas guzzlers. They consume a large amount of energy and pollute our air with fumes and noise. Should we change the way we mow and trim? Should we demand cleaner gas-powered tools?

Is using manures on your gardens being green? Even if some can potentially carry bad, bad organisms that make humans sick?

I don't know the answers to these questions, they are more to ponder. To think about. To maybe change your idea of green.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Preparing for Winter

We've all heard the phrase 'putting the garden to bed'. I'm not fond of that phrase, really. There is so much activity that takes place in the winter. It can be pretty disruptive. Just think of all the freezing and thawing, frost heaving, all the microbial activity that continues to take place (maybe at a slower rate than summer). The snow, the ice, the cold winter rains. All these help with decomposition of organic matter over the winter.

I've given our garden at the office a nice layer of leaves -- just whatever I could rake up close by.

Then I was given some old straw bales left over from Halloween decorations. I would prefer to know my source of straw since I'd have some idea exactly what type of grasses made it up and -- more importantly -- if it came from a weed-infested field. But beggars can't be choosers.

I can plant right through this straw next spring. The worms should continue to work as it will be relatively warm over the winter with this nice layer on top. I'll take pictures next spring!

Monday, November 02, 2009

November Garden Images

Here are a few shots from the garden.
My artichoke plants haven't been killed by any frosts yet. Some of our annuals have bitten the dust as have some hostas.
Pyracantha berries are looking wonderful!
Calycanthus is showing some decent fall color especially when the sun hits it just right.
And lastly, our Itea virginica, Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire is putting on its red show.

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