Thursday, April 3, 2008

Save Our Planet, Start In Your Own Garden!

Unless you've been hiding in some deep dark hole for the last few years, you have heard of Global Warming and what it is doing to our beloved planet. Perhaps you've even seen the movie An Inconvenient Truth. It is shocking what will happen to mother Earth if we do nothing. Many people want to do something to save our planet and the good news is that you can. Very easily in fact. Today I blog about what we gardeners can do to help save our planet. It's very simple, anyone can do it and not only do you reduce your carbon footprint by living in a more earth friendly way, you are also reducing the amount of money you fork out every month.

But enough with the pep talk, let's get cracking!

Reducing the amount of drinking water you use in the garden by
1) buying and installing a few water barrels to catch the rain.
2) watering your plants with rain water in a watering can instead of with a garden hose.
3) if you want to use the hose, use it only once a week and water for a long time instead of many times a week for only a short time.
4) water the plants after the sun has gone down
5) mulching after the earth is watered in well, saves water too (less evaporation).
By using as much rain water as you possibly can, you're reducing your water bill too, always a plus.

I make my own mulch with this nifty thingy here; the shredder!
This is where you stick in the branches and leaves that need to be shredded
and this is where everything comes out all nice and shredded to bits.
Be more eco friendly and garden in harmony with nature by

1) attracting wildlife such as
frogs, toads, newts, hedgehogs, ladybirds, bees,
butterflies and
birds; by planting trees and shrubs in your garden, especially those that produce berries the birds can eat,
plants that attract butterflies and bees, making a pond, putting out bird feeders and a birdbath.
Creating a corner in your garden where you let nettles grow (the butterflies will thank you for it) and where you make a big heap of branches and leaves where the hedgehogs, toads and several kinds of insects can overwinter safely, all snug as the proverbial bug. And whatever you do, don't start winter cleaning your garden in Autumn, let things be, so birds can still find food there and insects shelter. It will look much prettier too! See?
2) reducing the amount of toxins you use by not panicking and reaching for your pesticide sprayer when something like this happens.
Just relax, take a chill pill and let these little garden helpers take care of this problem for you.
And if they won't, some kind birdie or two will do it, so don't worry. Worst case scenario? You'll have to do it yourself by rubbing the aphids away with your thumb and forefinger.
This is how my roses look and I do not use any spray at all, nothing, nada, zilch. I just prune them twice a year and give them a good organic feed twice a year too. That's all.

3) reducing the amount of garden waste by
making your own compost. I have two compost bins, designed by the late, great Geoff Hamilton.
They're not only used for making compost as is demonstrated here. Making your own compost saves money, otherwise you'd have to buy the stuff in vast quantities and for huge sums of money. Forking in loads of compost makes heavy clay much easier to work with, not only for the gardener but for these chaps too.
You can also make beautiful leaf mold by stuffing plastic bags full of leaves, adding a bit of water and giving it a good shake once or twice a month. After about 6 months you're left with glorious black gold for the garden. The bags you used can be re-used again next Autumn.
4) use organic fertilizer only. I use dried cow dung pellets and they work a treat.
5) recycle stuff, it's amazing what you can find if you put your mind to it. I've used many secondhand materials in my garden and used products made from hard wood (will serve you practically a lifetime) from sustainable forests.
Before, a extremely heavy and user unfriendly wheel barrow.
After, a gorgeous planter!

6) planting an oxygen machine, or better still, planting loads of them.
7) changing your outlook on things. Accept the little daisies in your lawn as a welcome addition instead of looking upon them as a weed that needs to be killed. Personally I love the little daisies in my lawn and the whopping great big one on it.
Dolly Daisy enjoying life in harmony with nature

These are just some of the things you can do to help keep our planet healthy and ourselves with it. There is more you can do but I'll post about that another time.
copyright 2008 Y.E.W. Heuzen

This post was written in respons to Ewa's post We Are Drowning - Gardener's Unite!

On a more personal note: the bypass operation was a success and my mother is recovering well. This afternoon she will be moved from the ICU to the Medium Care Unit. Her body is getting stronger but her mind is still a bit confused as she has trouble remembering the name of things. Hopefully that problem will be sorted too.

A warm thank you for all the kind words, thoughts, prayers and best wishes so many of you expressed in your comments concerning my mother's health. It's heart warming and very much appreciated. Thank you all!!!


Lisa at Greenbow said...

So glad to hear that your Mother fared so well with her by-pass. I will keep her in my prayers and thoughts.

Your post about conservation beginning in the garden is so good. I try to do all of these things. I do need a rain barrel. These days everything is soggy. It is difficult to think that we need a rain barrel with record setting rains, however this too will pass and it will become hot and dry here.

I love Daisy lying in the lawn with her namesake.

Carol said...

YE, Very good advice for all gardeners and non-gardeners, and very good news about your mother.

Pam/Digging said...

You've written an encouraging, non-nagging post about green gardening, YE. Good job. And I'm glad to hear that your mother is doing better.

Flighty said...

It was my intention from the outset to be a green gardener on my plot.I think that I'm doing well but will check all the points you raise here in case I've missed anything! xx

Weed Whackin' Wenches said...

Wonderful news about your mother. What a very unique daisy growing in your lawn. Very informative post. Thank you!

Ewa said...

You made a great post about how to be more green :) it is ment to be part of my call 'Gardeners Unite'? I would be delighted :)

I am happy your mum is better :)


Gail said...

None of your suggestions would be difficult for any gardener to use...thanks for the gentle reminder now I have to get the rain barrels!

Glad to hear your mom is improving.


Frances, said...

So glad about your mother, may she continue to improve. Your points are all important ones. We need to add that rain barrel, but I wish our compost bin was as handsome as yours. I need to show it to my better half who claims to be building me a fancy one this year.

em said...

glad to hear your mom is ok... i hope she continues to improve.

i have never seen a little chipper like that before! what a fun toy!

Cheryl said...

So pleased to hear that your mother is doing well...hopefully with time her memory will improve...a day at a time.

I agree with this post so much. I do all of the things you suggest, and I feel better for it. I think always of my grandchildren and what they will have to cope with when they are my age. Everything I do now is for them....and I feel happy doing my bit.
My lawn is full of wild flowers, don't the bees just love them.

stadtgarten said...

I only read today of your mothers heart attack, and I am glad to hear that she is doing well now! I hope she will be totally recovered soon!

You are so right, each of us can do a lot to save our planet and we all have to do! Thanks for your good tipps!
Groetjes, Monika

garden girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
garden girl said...

Yolanda, I'm so glad your mother is better.

Thank you for all the excellent tips. I am doing most of these things, and would like to get some rain barrels too. Maybe I'll start with one for now.

Birgit said...

Wieder so ein schöner Post mit vielen sehr wichtigen Tipps und Hinweisen von Dir. Die meisten werden auch von mir bereits beherzigt. Nur solch einen vernünftigen und guten Schredder müssen wir uns unbedingt noch anschaffen.

Schönes Wochenende und liebe Grüße,

marl1 said...

Kon alles 'afvinken'- óók de brandnetels...;-)))Mooie compacte hakselaar, zo te zien wendbaarder dan de onze..;-))

Gelukkig goed nieuws van je moeder :-)

Amy said...

I'm very glad to hear your mother's surgery went well and she is recovering!

What a *great* post! So many good ideas and so many of the things I would like to accomplish in my own garden.

Lis said...

Du hast ja so recht und es wäre wirklich lobenswert wenn sich möglichst viele oder gar alle Menschen daran halten würden.
Das mit dem Laub in den Säcken muss ich auch mal probieren. Müssen da Löcher reingemacht werden, oder sind die Säcke ganz zu? Wenn ich im Herbst einen Teil meiner Stauden häcksle, verteile ich das zerkleinerte Material gleich in den Beeten. Dort kann es an Ort uns Stelle verrotten und bis zum Frühjahr ist das meiste davon auch verschwunden.
Schönes Wochenende
LG Lis

Chookie said...

I was wondering how you go with little birds given that you accommodate their predators? Or are your cats too well-fed to hunt them?

Best wishes to your Mother for a full and speedy recovery.

manon said...

wat een fantastische foto reportage
ik heb genoten van het idee erachter

fijn te horen dat uw moeder aan de beterende hand is, als het voorjaar nu ook wil komen dan ziet het leven er mooi uit

Ruth Welter said...

Hi Yolanda, I love the water barrel idea to catch the rain. Daisy looks adorable rolling around on the lawn and your photos are lovely as always.

Katarina i Kullavik said...

This post is an excellent reminder to all gardeners - and it's encouraging too! We can, after all, contribute to a better environment.
Glad to hear about your mother too!

Marian said...

Fijn dat het goed gaat met je moeder, dat ze nog wat in de war is zal wel te danken zijn aan de narcose, dat komt ook nog wel goed!
Hier ook al zo'n "brave" tuinierster! 3 regentonnen zelfs, waarvan eentje van 300 liter.En dan de nodige gieters in alle maten en soorten natuurlijk, ook een hakselaar en ga zo maar door!
Als we allemaal zoveel mogelijk steentjes bijdragen moet het toch goed gaan!
prettig weekend Yolanda
groetjes, Marian

Poppins said...

Sorry to hear about your mother's heart attac but I understand that the worst are over. Hoping she recover but it is diffucult when parents gets older.
Thank you for the ideas about a better environmental garden!

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Amen to everything you've written! I am really glad you pointed out that roses can look absolutely spectacular without any pesticide sprays. It's so much more fun to watch the flocks of bushtits come down to dine on the rosebushes.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

shirl said...

Hi there Yolanda, an inspiring post as always!

You do a great job of introducing all the little helpers we have in the garden like the insects, birds and wildlife! Wishing you many little garden helpers this year :-D

Sorry I hadn’t realised your Mother had been ill. Glad to read she is improving now.

Have a great weekend :-D

The Mess said...

You have much more spring that I have..

Karin A said...

Hi! Happy to hear that you're mother is recovering from her operation.

We gardeners have a lot to do and your post is great, both inspiring and informative! I would love to have one of those shredders.

I hope you have a nice sunny weekend! We have had great spring weather today and it's great. Take care! Kram

Sandpiper said...

I hope your mother heals quickly.

This is a terrific post about conservation. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing your pictures.

Matron said...

Excellent blog! we should all start at home when it comes to saving resources. Last year I bought an old zinc watering can at a car boot sale, they are usually very cheap, I might get some more!

Rose said...

I just found your blog, though I've seen it listed in several others' favorites. I am so impressed by it, I will certainly come back to visit often.
Thank you for all the wonderful tips on helping to preserve our earth. I remember as a child having old wooden rain barrels sitting under the downspouts. I've heard they're making a comeback--wonderful idea!

Andrea said...

Great post, Yolanda! So often we forget the "little" things we can contribute to save our planet. Andrea

Curtis said...

Wonderful post. I like the old wheelbarrow as a planter.

lisa said...

Prayers for your mom! I want a rain barrel too...thanks for the encouragement to do so!

Tracy said...

Thanks for this inspiring post, Yolanda! Lots of great ideas...I am wondering where you get your rain-water barrels? The wheel barrow with plants is a beauty spot. This post is all about the "little things that mean a lot" and they do! Happy week to you & the Team ((HUGS))

Green thumb said...

Hi Yolanda! That was such a thoughtful and thought provoking post.
It is such an important issue and you have very admirably contributed your bit to safeguard the environment.
Personally, I loved all your sugestions and have been followig some of them already.
Keep up the good green gardening work.

Tim said...

I agree with most everything you included, especially leaving the little daisies alone and not looking on them as weeds. Sara and I have been talking about collecting rainwater for years. Maybe this summer we'll actually do it. Right now nature is taking care of the watering--we've had pouring rain for the last few days. However, watering after sunset can lead to fungal infestations. I like to water early in the morning.

Please visit our blog again. Nothing as spectacular as yours, but still celebrating the arrival of a (chilly) spring.

Tim, Sara, and the kids

nikkipolani said...

A terrific list, Yolanda - practical for many gardeners. And good news about your mother's recovery.

Richtsje said...

O zo, Yolanda, allemaal goede tips!

Goed te horen dat je moeder het al beter maakt. Het zijn erg spannende ingrepen immers...

Miranda Bell said...

Hi - I've just found your posting so interesting - I've been writing an article on exactly this for a magazine in France just recently but this is really close to my own heart in making the garden a much more wildlife friendly place and in turn you get SO many benefits. The amazing thing here is that our garden was left for about 9 years we think - untended and now I hardly use anything in the garden by means of chemicals and the results are great... keep up the good work.. Miranda

ladyluz said...

Very glad to hear your mother's recovering, Yolanda.

~Thanks for your excellent practical advice. How do you find the time to be so generous with your time and energy on your blog, with all that's going on in your life?! My hat off to you!

SchneiderHein said...

Liebe Yolanda,
jetzt war ich schon so lange nicht mehr in Deinem Garten zu Besuch, und lese erst jetzt von Deiner Mutter. Die verwirrten Zustände werden sich sicherlich mit der Zeit wieder bessern, aber es braucht etwas Geduld. Bei meiner Großmutter hatten wir nach ihrer Operation sehr gute Erfahrungen mit pflanzlichen, kreislaufstärkenden Mitteln mit Gingko-Extrakten gemacht. Die förderten wohl die Hirndurchblutung - geschadet haben sie jedenfalls nicht.

Ach Dein Post! Ich stimme Dir voll und ganz zu. Und es ist schön zu sehen und zu lesen, dass es wohl immer mehr Garten-Fans gibt, die diesen Wandel in der Gartenarbeit mitmachen.
Liebe Grüße

gintoino said...

Great post yolanda! I was thinking just the other day about writing a post about water wise/nature friendly gardening, so it is very nice to find the same subject addressed by another fellow gardener.
I'm happy to ear things are going well with your mother.I wish she will get better soon.

rusty in miami said...

Excellent post Yolanda, I believe that we gardeners have a tremendous responsibility to educate others about the perils of Mother Earth.
The rain barrel is my next garden project.
Glad to see that your mother is doing well

jodi said...

You and your family have been in my thoughts this pass week and more, Yolanda, so I'm glad to hear of good recovery for her. Happy days ahead!
Dexter the Rescue kitty likes the photo of Dolly Daisy on the lawn though he doesn't yet like the rest of our catchildren. He's doing well.
This post is one of those wonderful, encouraging and wise posts that you do so well. Worthy of being an article somewhere, you know ;-)

Blessings to you from springlike Nova Scotia

No Rain said...

Great news on your mom's condition. Hope it continues to go well.
Your post was extremely informative and thought provoking.

A wildlife gardener said...

Great to hear of your mum's improvement, Yolanda :)

I loved all to see all the different ways you are helping nature by gardening organically. Such successful blooms, cost-free mulches, friendly garden visitors and water saving devices are proof of how to be a good organic gardener :)

If you would like a bit of fun, come along and watch the 'Leap Frog At Barleycorn' video, a follow-up to the Froggie Hoedown :)

kate smudges said...

I love the daisies - of all sizes - in your grass. Since begin worm composting a few months back, I have even more respect for the hard work of earthworms.

I am glad to hear that your mum is improving.

heirloomgardener said...

I love the leaf mold suggestion. I haven't tried that and will do so this fall.

Subhacini said...

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sam said...

Beautiful blog, I cant wait for the soil to warm up