Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Green The Grounds for Earth Day

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Most gardeners I've met are fairly environmentally conscious. This follows our chosen hobby naturally since we deal so closely with plants, soil, weather patterns and the animals that interact with our gardens. Susan Harris at Garden Rant is one of those special gardeners who cares about the environment; managing to inspire other garden bloggers involvement as well by creating Green The Thanks Susan!

Recently the First Family started an Organic Victory Garden at the White House. This was exciting news. I continue to hope that the media attention will influence others to learn more about gardening without herbicides and pesticides. A world where more people start their very own Organic Victory Gardens seems like a much better place to me.

Hopefully, the Obama's Organic Victory Garden at the White House is only the first step. Green The Grounds is "encouraging the First Families -- in the White House and governors' mansions -- to adopt more sustainable landscaping practices."

One fine example of public lands being use for the good of the community is the huge Organic Victory Garden in front of San Francisco's City Hall...

While Victory Gardens are cool and certainly have their place, I would also love to see more native plants added to the First Families' grounds. Native plants need less water, feeding and overall maintenance. It would be terrific if plants were included in these public gardens that would attract birds, butterflies and other animals. Adding permanent, naturalized water features would benefit native wildlife and be a pleasant focal point for visitors to the mansions as well. If I had my wish each governor's mansion garden would be a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat. Well, I can dream, can't I?

Unfortunately, the Texas Governor's Mansion suffered a fire in June 8, 2008. At the present time they are focused on restoring the building to its former glory. Recently there was even a suggestion to make the Pease Mansion the new Texas Governor's Mansion. Hopefully once the mansion's problems have been resolved there will be more time and energy to concentrate on its gardens.

In the meantime we can all try to make our own gardens as green and environmentally friendly as possible. I try to limit my use of biocides on my property, though I admit I used Roundup on a tenacious section of poison ivy when we first moved here. But by using organic gardening methods and including food, water and cover for wildlife, almost any garden can make the most of its environmental potential. Mine is still a work in progress...

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs." –Joseph Addison

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Mirror is Up!

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Someone finally helped me get my wooden mirror up on the dining room wall today. Thank goodness my cats approve. ;-) Actually, I don't usually allow Mariah and Lily on to the buffet -- nor tables, counters, or any other food-serving surface -- but I wanted to give a sense of proportion to the photo. Plus they pose really well.

I was planning on using Robin of Get Grounded's "go-to guy", (who remodeled her beautiful kitchen), to put up my mirror. However, I was surprised today when the first mirror company I'd contacted sent someone over to put it up in record time. I'm still going to hire Robin's carpenter for a tricky kitchen project. So thanks again, Robin, for recommending Mr. G, because I'm determined to use him.

Anyway, I am relieved my mirror is off the floor and on the wall where it belongs.

Though I have the uneasy feeling that I've now raised the decorating bar, so to speak, and will have to upgrade a few things here and there.

Ah well. Thank goodness for consignment stores.

"In another moment Alice was through the glass, and had jumped lightly down into the Looking-glass room. The very first thing she did was to look whether there was a fire in the fireplace, and she was quite pleased to find that there was a real one, blazing away as brightly as the one she had left behind." Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Lilies and Eggs

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

I hope those of you who celebrate Easter had a very happy day. I'm enjoying the fragrance of the Easter Lily (Lilium longiflorum) on our breakfast table this year. I was wondering if I could plant it in my garden, so I checked and saw the MSS at Zanthan Gardens has written a great deal of information about the lily here. Edit: MSS points out that her entry is actually about "LA hybrids, which are Longiflorum lilies (like the Easter lily) crossed with Asiatic lilies. This hybrid is more hardy in the garden. It does not, however (like the Asiatics) have a scent." Thanks MSS!

The day before Easter, my son and I dyed 8 hardboiled eggs using a PAAS kit. I read the PAAS site and learned that the company has been around for 125 years! PAAS is short for Passen, the Pennsylvania Dutch word for "Easter".

Our dyed eggs turned out pretty well; though a couple were a bit spotty...

Our friends in Scotland sent my son a lovely box of Easter treasures which I put in the basket on the right in the photo below. The rest of the bounty was from our local U.S. Easter Bunny...

My garden surprise this morning was a visit from a uniquely dark Texas Spiny Lizard. I'd never seen one this dark before. Not sure if it's his natural coloring or if he's darker when he's feeling cooler.

Happy Easter!

"I think of the garden after the rain; And hope to my heart comes singing,
'At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!'" ~
Edna Dean Procter, Easter Bells

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.