Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Hundreds of butterflies will take flight in Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden's glass Conservatory in 2012. The Butterflies LIVE! exhibit is back by popular demand and will feature showy tropical species from May 25 - October 14, 2012.
The exhibit will also feature special plantings to provide food for the butterflies, allowing visitors to get an "up-close" and personal view of these fascinating creatures.
This exhibit is presented by the Robins Foundation.
Bookmark this list or print it out! You won’t want to miss these eco-friendly events and garden tips for 2012.
- Celebrate National Bird Day on January 5, 2012 by setting out bird seed for our fine feathered friends and planning your summer wildlife garden.
- February 6th – 12th, 2012 is Go Green Week – a national week of action on climate change in schools, colleges and universities. It’s a great week to start planning a butterfly garden with your kids.
- Become a Citizen Scientist by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count – February 17-20th, 2012
- World Water Day is March 22, 1012 - International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Mark the day by adding a few rain barrels to your landscape.
- April is National Garden Month – Every April communities, organizations, and individuals nationwide celebrate gardening during National Garden Month. Trends for 2012 point to more and more gardeners choosing eco-friendly options.
- April 15-21, 2012 – National Environmental Education Week - dedicated to increasing the environmental literacy of K-12 students. Do your part to help grow your own Environmentalist.
- April 22, 2012 – Earth Day – Creating an eco-friendly garden is a great way to celebrate the earth every day.
- May is National Wetlands Month - Support and promote wetlands by informing community members about wetlands' vital roles, "adopting" a wetland, joining a local watershed group, or participating in a wetland monitoring, restoration, or cleanup project. There are many other actions Americans can take to help conserve wetlands. To learn more about what you can do to help protect and restore these valuable natural resources in your state or local area, visit What You Can Do to Protect and Restore Wetlands.
- National Public Gardens Day – May 11, 2012 – a celebration of botanical gardens, arboreta, and other public gardens takes place.
- Create a garden to attract pollinators for National Pollinator Week – June 24th – 30th (always last week in June)
- World Environment Day – June 5th, 2012 - World Environment Day is an annual event that is aimed at being the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action. Celebrate the day by making a pledge to eliminate chemicals from your landscape.
- July is smart irrigation month – Find a watersense irrigation contractor to help tune-up your irrigation system.
- Nude Recreation Week is July 9th – 15th 2012 (link is censored – you’ll have to Google that one yourself!) – time for some Bare Naked Gardening
- August is National Water Quality Month. Learn how eco-friendly gardening helps to protect local water supplies.
- September 11. 2012 is Protect Your Groundwater Day. Eliminating chemicals, using rain barrels, and picking up after pets are all great ways to protect the groundwater.
- Pollution Prevention Week – July 16th – 22nd, 2012 (third full week in September) This week is an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and government to emphasize and highlight their pollution prevention and sustainability activities and achievements, expand current pollution prevention efforts, and commit to new actions.
- October 4, 2012 – World Animal Day - In the garden, Invite the critters. Whether you want to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, beneficial insects other pollinators or wonderful wriggling worms, eco-friendly gardening is your first step.
- Make a Difference Day – 4th Saturday in October – Acts of kindness can come from the garden, too.
- America Recycles Day – November 15th - Since 1997, communities across the country have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day - the only nationally recognized day dedicated to the promotion of recycling in the United States. Creating compost is a great way to recycle in the garden.
- Christmas Bird Count – December 16th – January 5th? Since the 12th annual Christmas Bird Count is still under way, the dates for the 13th annual count may not be set yet. But participating is a great way to prove that our eco-friendly gardening efforts are making a difference.
Susan McCoy and the team at Garden Media Group have come up with a list of Garden Trends for 2012 that may just indicate that eco-friendly gardening has reached the tipping point to becoming the new norm.
Their 2012 Garden Trends Report predicts a generation of environmentally conscious Gen X & Y’s, driven by a desire to preserve and protect the earth’s resources, planting drought tolerant, low-maintenance gardens as food for their bodies as well as their souls.
“Plants are no longer a luxury, but a necessity for our lives,” says McCoy, trendspotter and outdoor living expert. “Plants can live without us, but we can’t live without plants.”
Here are some excerpts of what McCoy and her team of Garden Media Group trend spotters see for gardening in 2012.
Urban-Knights. A growing army of ‘urban-knights’ are creating oases wherever they can find a patch of earth. They’re planting shrubs, flowers, edibles and pop-up gardens on balconies, in alley ways, and on street parklets – even in abandoned buildings and walk-in shipping containers. From yard sharing and raising chickens to ‘step gardening’ and harvesting rain water, urban knights are finding a ‘new good life’ by getting grounded with the earth.
Eco-scaping. Beauty and sustainability are key. People want the “beauty and romance” of a garden with less work. “Gardeners want easy, low maintenance plants that give plenty of color.”
Occupy Local. People are “occupying” local farmers markets and joining CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) for fresh produce, plants and products. “Farmers markets are our new backyard veggie gardens and are becoming our local grocery store,” says McCoy. According to the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, sales of “locally produced food” reached $4.8 billion in 2008.They project that locally grown foods will generate $7 billion in sales dominated by fruit and veggies this year.
Mindful Consumption. According to the 2010 Cone Survey, 83% of consumers still want to see more brands, products, and companies that support worthy causes. “We’ve finally moved from “me” to “we” and consider our earth and each other when we purchase,” says McCoy.
Water-Watchers. “There is no single issue greater than water,” says Dr.Hall. Recent drought and regional water restrictions are causing us to grow plants, flowers and vegetables with less water.
Seedlings. From the White House to the neighborhood schools, kids are learning how to grow their own food and take care of the planet. McCoy says we’ve ignored two generations of gardeners and need to get kids back to having fun growing things.
There is much more in the 2012 Garden Trends Report , which you can download from their website (in pdf format).
But the statement that stands out the most to me is this: A generation of gardeners that thinks of “we” instead of “me” when they garden has to bode very well for the future of our planet.