Monday, January 6, 2014

Green gardening DOES matter

A bluebird at sunrise in my yard.
Bluebirds are important bug predators in the ecosystem.
At the beginning of a new year, there are many speculations on what might happen and to-do lists of what you could do to improve your own situation.  Normally, I shy away from making such proclamations, but this year I decided to make a short list on what gardeners could do to improve the planet and encourage wildlife.

One of the reasons for my making this list is learning that it takes 17 repetitions for most people to fully understand a new idea and commit it to their immediate recall memory banks. Even though I've been writing about green gardening for ten years at this point, there are still people who have not heard enough about Doug Tallamy and his research showing that even small patches of native plants have a positive impact on birds, insects, and other members of the local ecosystems.

So I wrote 6 easy steps to support wildlife in 2014 over on the Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens blog to show some examples of things and normal people can accomplish and how these projects will improve the planet.  As I reminded readers, There is no Planet B

A burmarigold (Bidens laevis) blooming on Jan 5 in a
wet roadside ditch in Clay County FL.

Winter in Florida

It's been pretty cold and windy here in north Florida, but yesterday it was in the mid-seventies and quite pleasant.  The cold is returning as I write this and tonight we'll probably experience a killing frost, but it won't last long.  Our landscape of mostly native plants will be fine, although I will harvest all of my sugar snap peas today and cover the vines with a blanket. They are close to the house, where it's a little warmer anyway, but I'll take the precaution so we can continue our harvest deeper into the winter.

I feel for my friends in the more northerly climes and the polar vortex that they have suffered through. They will continue to freeze their butts off as Mother Nature continues her rampage, but this doesn't mean that global warming is a hoax.

Plants don't lie

Even though climate change doubters are using this cold snap as proof of their politically-motivated beliefs, plants don't have a political agenda and they don't lie. As an example of what happens as a result of fewer cold snaps, mangroves have been moving northward as seen in progressive satellite images over the years. See this Science Daily story With Few Hard Frosts, Tropical Mangroves Push North,  Slate's article Winter does Not Disprove Global Warming and How global warming can make cold snaps even worse, as posted in Quartz.

Happy New Year!

I wish you a happy and prosperous 2014 that's filled with adventures that allow you to enjoy nature at its best.  Also, I'd love to hear what you are doing to enhance your yard to benefit wildlife.

Green Gardening Matters,
Ginny Stibolt

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