Saturday, November 13, 2010

Landscaping for Pollinators - Nov. 17th

Who cares about pollinators? We all should! Today's pollinators face many threats, including habitat loss and degradation and fragmentation of the landscape. As native vegetation is replaced by roadways, lawns, crops and non-native gardens, pollinators lose the food and nesting sites necessary for their survival. The good news is that we, the gardeners, can help.

Learn how to bring bees, butterflies and moths back into your landscape by choosing pollinator friendly plants and landscaping techniques that will provide the food and shelter they need. Paula Jean Hallberg, a Montgomery County Master Gardener and WV Master Naturalist will use content and materials provided by Connie Schmotzer, for the Penn State Master Gardeners, using a grant from Haagen Dazs. Valuable links and ample time for Q & A will be included.

Did you know that bees, butterflies, moths, and other pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat?! We need to help them survive! This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments & door prizes! Questions? Call Carole: 301.442.2023

Landscaping For Pollinators
Takoma Horticultural Club Meeting
November 17, 7:30 pm
Takoma Park Community Center
7500 Maple Ave., next to the Library

Information provided by Kathy Jentz, editor/publisher of Washington Gardener Magazine

You might also enjoy reading: The best thing you'll ever eat, thanks to local honeybees

Gwyneth Paltrow ...singing about organic gardening?

Did you catch Gwyneth Paltrow's song on the Country Music Awards? I meant to listen to it, but I was channel surfing (as usual) and must have ended up somewhere else during her song.

In any case, I just listened to it online and it made me think of....gardening. I know, a lot of things make me think about gardening. But I had just read this quote in a post on Mother Nature Network that indicated that Paltrow longs for a "simpler" life on a large organic farm:

"I would love it," enthuses Paltrow of rustic living. "My dream is to have land somewhere outside of Nashville and have a big organic farm outside of the city."

And then I listened to her song:

 Now, I know she isn't REALLY singing about gardening. But some of the lyrics of "Country Strong" could very well fit in with the challenges of gardening in harsh climates....and especially, organic gardening.

‘cause I’m Country Strong, hard to break
Like the ground, I grew up on
You may fool me, and I’ll fall
But I won’t stay down long
‘cause I’m Country Strong 

I have weathered, colder winters
And longer summers, without a drop of rain
Push me in a corner and I’ll come out fightin’
I may lose but I’ll always keep my face

I think many people assume that owning a farm, especially an organic farm, is opting for a simpler lifestyle when, in reality, the challenges of doing things naturally (organically) often add a few extra steps to the process.

In any case, I congratulation Paltrow on her singing and on her dreams. And the next time you are working in your organic garden, facing the challenges of "hard ground, cold winters and long summers without rain"....plug in your iPod and think of Paltrow....and come back strong!

Feeding the Birds makes their hearts sing!

I recently wrote a post about the importance of creating habitats for backyard birds during the fall months. Fall and spring are the months that you might see a lot more variety in the birds that visit your yard and garden as they migrate through to their winter and summer nesting places.

If you want to read a firsthand account of the pleasures of gardening for wildlife, there is a great one on Kathy Van Mullekom's Diggin' In Column.

It's a great article about the wonderful wildlife habitat that Tom and Gail Claydon have created on their Newport News property.

Here's the full article: Backyard Garden Offers Buffet for the Birds

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