April 22, 2020
Earth Day EVERY DAY!
We celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day differently this April 22.
This time, we honored its mission in what may be the most significant way: recognizing that we can make a big difference in our yards and neighborhoods.
Not so long ago, we could water whenever we wanted. On summer evenings, we relaxed to the whap, whap, whap of lawn sprinklers.
Now, watering restrictions and our own awareness lead us to plants that get along without that constant infusion, just as our forebears did, and certainly as many do stateside and globally today. Bee-busy native globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) doesn’t mind dry times.
My winter-hardy Mexican stonecrop (Sedum mexicana) withstands drought just fine, spilling its containers to root and spread.
Salvia ‘Silke’s Dream’, a cross between S. darcyi and S. microphylla, chimes in with deep-throated blossoms to entice butterflies and hummingbirds.
Although vegetable gardens must be watered, especially in summer, we’re going for drip irrigation, often attached to rain collection.
Plus, we’re bringing food-growing right out front again. Well, at least if you’re fortunate enough not to live in an HOA that’s still stuck in suburban 1950s.
Instead of killing every insect in sight, we understand how pollinators and birds are impacted by pesticides, too. When winter’s plants bolt in the heat, like broccoli and this cilantro, we let them flower for bees that pollinate our summer crops.
We’ve come to respect that allowing a pest-to-predator balance attracts the beneficials we want like ladybugs. This one’s about to lunch on aphids!
And by planting for wildlife and crossing off pesticides, we can fill the garden with fireflies, butterflies, birds, and bees. I keep my Abutilon palmeri in a sunny side patio container and give it a deep drench weekly in summer.
Rather than tossing things into the trash, we ask ourselves “Hmm, what else can we do with it?” I call this “shopping in the shed.”
Especially now, we’re appreciating how simple beauty and fragrance at home gives us joy. You can even have roses, like my Buff Beauty, and other Earth-Kind roses that don’t need pampering.
This week on Central Texas Gardener, Thomas Rainer’s message to create resilient, emotionally-resonant landscapes is especially appropriate.
A landscape architect with Phyto Studio, he joins John Hart Asher to explore how we can create visually and environmentally harmonious gardens with concepts from his book Planting in a Post-Wild World: Designing Plant Communities for Resilient Landscapes.
On tour in Dripping Springs, Leah and Jon Gillum bring together family time, homegrown vegetables and wildlife habitat where they honor Earth Day every day!
Austin PBS, KLRU-TV remains committed to providing safe, educational entertainment for the whole family and gardeners like you! We’re able to provide this valuable service because of your support. Make a gift today to keep us growing! Many,many thanks! Linda