Nancy Clifton, horticultural program specialist, shows us some of the wreaths she made for the Wonderland Express exhibition. She also shows you how to make a simple mixed pine cone wreath on a grapevine base. You can take classes with Nancy through the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden or get ideas at Wonderland Express, Nov. 25, 2011 through Jan. 1, 2012. Visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/wonderland for more information.
Boyce Tankersley, Director of Plant Documentation, tells us about some of the flowers we saw blooming on the first meteorological day of summer at the Chicago Botanic Garden. We saw echium in the Heritage Garden, a very rare jade vine in the Tropical Greenhouse, allium in the West Flower Walk and poppies in the English Oak Meadow. Come see us soon or visit http://www.chicagobotanic.org/inbloom for updates on what’s in bloom.
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.
Visit www.chicagobotanic.org for more information.
Students from the Green Youth Farm in North Chicago prepare lunch in the kitchen in the Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden. Each Tuesday, a crew from the farm in North Chicago or the farm in North Lawndale prepare lunch for both farms to enjoy in a picnic shelter near the farm in North Chicago. In addition to learning how to grow, harvest and sell the produce on the farm, the students learn how to cook and eat food with fresh ingredients. For more information and recipes, visit chicagobotanic.org/greenyouthfarm/recipes.
Emily Shelton shows us around the North Green Roof Garden and explains why we think the plants survived the winter so well.