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Allan designs and plants flowering gardens in Montreal, Zone 5 [USDA Zone 4] .

See website, design work and favorite flowering plants at  gardengurumontreal.ca

Consultation and coaching for do-it-yourselfers is provided. Occasional emailed questions are welcome and answered free of charge. Oui, je parle francais.

See my work on Pinterest at Garden Guru Montreal

Entries in Earth Day (3)

Monday
Apr192010

New Uses for Old Wood

I delivered a trunk full of wood scraps to the recycle center last week. The Junk Removal Company had quoted a charge of over $100 to pick it up. That was a cruel joke, but they were serious. If it were possible to piece together all of the scraps and, by magic, convert them into a sheet of lumber, I’ll bet I discarded over $30 worth of wood. To pay someone to take that away was preposterous. To send it to a landfill is a shame.

By coincidence, I just received an e-mail from Brian Behncke of the firm 8point8. He too considers it wasteful to dump usable lumber and he has done something about it. To recycle unwanted wood, he has started to make items for the home, using scraps that would have otherwise gone to a landfill. The items are hand made in San Diego and are sold online.

Click on the image for more informationThe slanted wine storage units and wine carriers look really cool.

Click on the image for more information. The herb pot planter makes a perfect hospitality gift, especially if one fills the plants with herbs before presentation.

Brian offered compensation, with an item from his collection, if I would mention his product line in my blog. I declined the gift because; by starting this new business, he is helping to find a second life for natural resources. Caring for the earth is admirable, even when it is commercial. In the end, the planet is made healthier and that is what matters most. Therefore, in honor of Earth Day, I am happy to inform readers about Brian’s new venture.

Eco Friendly Gardening Products made from Reclaimed Wood. Green Gardening, Wooden Pet Feeders, and Wooden Fruit Bowls are Rustic, Repurposed Cedar. Did you know that there isn't a recycling facility in San Diego that allow us to recycle wood with nails in it? Due to the cost of taking the nails out of the wood it goes directly into the landfill. Although it takes a little more time to clean the wood up, we feel this is a small price to pay for keeping large quantities of useable wood out of the landfill. We know there is a more sustainable way to deal with the problem, and that is to repurpose it. We’re 8point8 and we’re committed to diverting wood from the landfill, employing local craftsman and providing unique products to our retail community.

Friday
Apr162010

Tying UpTwo Loose Ends About Earth Day

Spring came early to Montreal this season and that gave my garden design business a jump-start. However, it put a wrinkle in other plans; for example, the posting of some book reviews are backing up. That is disappointing; especially for one new book that deserves special mention at this time. With Earth Day to be celebrated next week, it would have been timely to post a review of Sue Reed’s new book Energy-Wise Landscape Design. That subject is most appropriate for Earth Day and for all year round, as well. I am so intrigued by the meandering path on the cover of her book, that I can hardly wait to read it. A review will be posted here in the near future.

 

This image first appeared on the website Gardening Gone WildFor over forty years, the media has consistently reported that  the members of the rock band The Rolling Stones are very intelligent, well-educated people. Therefore, it came as no surprise when accomplishments of its brilliant keyboard player, Chuck Leavell, were reported in Fran Sorin’s newest posting at Gardening Gone Wild. It is titled "Down to Earth With a Rolling Stone", and well worth reading.  Why would a renowned garden writer like Fran write an in-depth article about a rock star? The answer is that Chuck is very active with conservation and environmental issues. This is the second time in two weeks that Fran has written a fascinating character study that deals with the human side of horticulture and gardening. This unabashed fan of Fran Sorin is most appreciative.

Tuesday
Apr062010

Celebrating Earth Day is Two Weeks Away

If we are to continue to survive on this planet, we must find a sustainable way to preserve our natural resources and the integrity of our bodies. Observing Earth Day is a way to remember that all of us must do anything pro-active to protect the planet. Some are well on their way in taking this matter into their own hands. Those that live on arable land, no matter how small, have begun to grow their own produce. Others, who live in dense urban locales, are opting to shop for organic produce and protein by linking up with farmers’ co-ops and farmers’ markets that deliver locally, and sustainably grown, healthy food into the cities.

Wise gardeners have begun using drip hoses, instead of sprinklers, to preserve water where it has become precious, and they are judiciously re examining the use of certain herbicides and pesticides that trickle down into the water tables. For others, composting kitchen scraps and garden waste to reuse in the garden as nutrients for plants, is becoming the reality. Farms, degraded by overproduction, await restoration so that nature’s balance of wildlife and plants may return to preserve the rejuvenated land. Furthermore, we must ensure that the heating and cooling systems of our homes and work places are the most energy efficient that prevailing technology allows.

Driving fuel-efficient cars is still a controversial topic. Few have addressed the question of how much energy a power plant must generate in order to recharge an electric car battery; while the use of bio-fuel to run cars and trucks has created unforeseen problems in the food chain. Another unresolved matter concerns global warming. It is still unclear what portion of the warming of the earth is a natural, cyclical phenomenon and what portion is attributable to human behavior. It is also unclear how much effect humans will have on this natural cycle, if such behavior can ever be modified on a global scale.

What is certain, however, is that human behavior pollutes an earth that is supposed to sustain us. If we are to remain healthy, cleaning up our environment has to start with us, at the community level, because it is unrealistic to expect governments of heavily industrialized nations to lead on this matter. And it has to start now!

Furthermore, nothing will be accomplished if environmentally friendly folk continue to dialogue endlessly only with each other. All of that energy, both human and capital, should be spent on improving the environment where we live, because it appears to be so much easier to introduce new ideas, locally, than at the federal level. For example, in the American Southwest, individual communities are successfully regulating landscape irrigation by capturing rainwater with innovative recycling sewer systems. In California, new standards of emissions will be implemented shortly. This environmentally significant move will take place in conjunction with several other American states and a few Canadian provinces that, jointly, will turn these emission standards into law. This has been accomplished without the circus and fanfare that usually accompanies dealing with controversial issues.

In some parts of the world, the value of life, other than one’s own, remains dismayingly low. In other places, what happens outside the village boundaries is of no consequence to local inhabitants. Therefore, it would be naïve to assume that there will be global consensus on saving the planet in the very near future. In the meanwhile, each of us can do our share to restore and heal that portion of the earth that we appreciate by starting, literally, in our own back yard. Please observe Earth Day on Thursday April 22, 2010 with an act of kindness to the land that surrounds you. To find out what you can do, visit the EPA web site.

This post was created with the encouragement of Garden Bloggers Sustainable Living Project.