Ecologically friendly gardening isn’t as tough a commitment as you might think. In fact, you won’t just be saving the planet, you’ll be saving time and money. Watch Eliza Fournier’s video for tips on how easy it can be or read on for the highlights.
Repurpose packing materials by filling the bottoms of large pots with leftover styrofoam and packing peanuts. You’ll reduce the amount of potting soil needed, and make your pots lighter and easier to move around.
Replace chemical herbicides with a natural mix. Boil 1 gallon of white vinegar with 1 cup of table salt, then cool. Add 2 or 3 drops of liquid dish detergent and pour into a sprayer.
Reuse! Instead of buying cheap tools every year, consider investing in quality tools and maintaining them properly. Your tool-sharpening kit should include WD-40, a rasp, coarse sandpaper, and a clamp.
Recycle garden pots at garden centers or at the Chicago Botanic Garden’s World Environment Day on June 4, 2011.
Reinvent your garden to include native plants and organic vegetables. Native plants attract pollinators to make your veggies more productive. Natives are also low-maintenance.
What’s a spring ephemeral? Ecologist Jim Steffen tells us about a few of the spring blooming wildflowers you can see blooming in McDonald Woods right now. As Jim says, there is always something in bloom in the woods, but spring is one of the showiest in this area, so don’t miss it! Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/walk/mcdonald_woods.php for more information on the woods.
Native bees are critically important in pollinating our plants. This video provides easy-to-follow instructions on how to build a home for bees in your garden so they can continue to pollinate your plants all season long. This is just one of the many environmentally-friendly gardening practices that you can learn during World Environment Day at the Garden on Saturday, June 4, 2011. Visit www.chicagobotanic.org/wed2011 for more information.
Donna LaPietra, Executive Producer of the Antiques & Garden Fair, recently interviewed Peter Wirtz who will be speaking at the Fair this year. Peter is a well-known contemporary landscape designer who has designed private gardens locally and his lecture, “Formal and Informal in Contemporary Landscape Design” shouldn’t be missed.
The Conservation and Land Management Program (CLM) is in its 10th year in 2011. Each year, the Chicago Botanic Garden places 75-90 interns with Federal biologists working primarily in twelve western states including Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Interns work on botany- or wildlife-focused projects for five months. Most of the time is spent doing field work and gaining hands-on experience working for a federal agency. Applications for the 2011 program are now being accepted. Visit www.clminternship.org to apply.