Environment and gardening columnist Janell Fiarman has tips on how to save money (and the planet) with new lighting technologies. Her condo association saved $2,000 just be using motion sensors.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
Saturday, October 6, 2012
It's time to prepare for frost, plant spring-flowering bulbs, and view the autumn leaves from the water.
A month ago we were heading for shady places to get out of the sun, but now we look for sunny places to warm ourselves. Even the stubborn folks who still refuse to put on socks recognize the unmistakable chill in the air. October is my favorite time of year, with bright blue skies and pumpkin flavored everything. It’s also the time when gardens are in their last days, as frost approaches. When Will it Frost? How soon frost hits depends not only on the nighttime temperature but on the circumstances in a particular garden and even how hard the wind is blowing. If your garden is on the upper side of a slope, the frost may come a little later in the month than if you are gardening in a valley or low pocket where cooler air collects. If the …
Friday, September 7, 2012
Fruit-producing shrubs, vines and tree create landscapes of beauty and good taste.
My daughter was sure that the ruffled purple cabbages in the fall planting outside a fancy hotel were not the same kind of cabbages that we eat: “But they’re so pretty! They don’t look like the kind of cabbage we put into soup.” (But in fact those elegant landscape plants are cabbages!) My daughter’s observation came about the same time our neighbors beautified the fence by planting vines with pretty heart-shaped leaves and long purple beans (which turn green when you steam them up to eat). Blueberry bushes started showing up here and there in cities and towns as decorative shrubs (with an extra perk – blueberries!). Landscapers started planting cherry trees not just for their spectacular spring blossoms but also for their fruit for pies …
Friday, August 3, 2012
Top picks for water conservation: careful planning, mulch to conserve moisture, infrequent but deep watering, and engineering that rainwater.
Our big blue planet is the planet of water. Every form of life on our planet — from the largest mammal to the smallest microbe — depends on water. Without water, there is no life. The amount of water on our planet is not infinite. Sometimes we act as though this most precious substance is so ordinary we don’t even have to think about it. This spring it looked as though we were in for a parching drought. Summer rains have brought our total rainfall almost up to the average (45” a year), but we are close enough to scarcity that gardeners are thinking seriously about the very best ways to conserve the water we use on our landscaping and gardens. That’s why the lush front garden at Melissa Braun Desjardins’s JP home is especially …