Dirt on Sustainable Gardening (Google / Jasmine’s Blog)

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The Dirt on Sustainable Gardening

By Gail Nelson
The Transplanted Gardener

Interesting display gardens like Poly Patio, with its use of reused materials, and The Jeweled Garden, with its use of glass, illustrate many brave steps outside the box. But I have to say being whooshed through a series of slides (due to technical difficulties) during Sustainable Artistic Habitats with James Pettigrew and Sean Stout, left me felling like I personally need to do more. They shared many techniques that can improve the health of your garden and minimize any negative impact on the environment, all the while keeping it artistically pleasing.

Their tips:

  1. Let some plants go to seed, to feed the birds.
  2. Use California Lilac as a hedge; it provides habitat and limits the waste that would come from regular hedge trimming.
  3. Water is important in any habitat garden; add a water feature then add fish to eat the mosquitoes.
  4. Make regular visits to your landfill to reuse items.
  5. Logs and rocks are important in the garden; they are places for lizards, who like black widow spiders, and toads that can eat between 10,000 and 20,000 slugs, flies, grubs, cutworms or grasshoppers per year.
  6. Invite some friends into your garden: grow native poppies for hummingbirds; they eat nearly half their weight in food everyday and a big part of their diet is insects.


Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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