Categories
environment gardening hydrangeas Perennials

Picture perfect?

Besides strummin my Martin and plantin a flower or two, I like to take pictures. Most of my subjects are flowers, but I’ll snap a photo of anything in the natural world that catches my eye.

If you like gardening, then I’m sure you’re familiar with growing bachelor buttons. They’re grown as annuals (annuals grow, bloom, and die in one season) here in the northeast, very easy to grow, even for folks who say they can’t grow anything. Bachelor buttons will reseed too, an added bonus of growing these flowers I think.

Bachelor Button
Bachelor Button

Hydrangeas are also relatively easy to grow here in our neck of the woods. They’re perennials and will keep your yard beautiful for years. The one pictured below is a Pee Gee hydrangea, I love how they change colors from soft white to pink towards the end of summer.

Hydrangea
Hydrangea

Weeds can be a gardener’s biggest headache. I used to let them bother me, I’d spray the most potent weed killer I could find on any and all plants that looked like a weed. But around six years ago I started to notice a drop in the number of honeybees in and around the yard and garden. That’s also about the time I started hearing about Colony Collaspe Disorder, I no longer use chemicals to control weeds or bugs (unless it’s a yellow jacket!).

Weed seedheads
Weed seedheads

A  lot of what I see means more to me than it probably does to you, like the photo of that sun dog. In order for it to show up, the sun’s rays have to reflect off of ice crystals in clouds. When I see one I make a wish, because you never know…

Sun dog
Sun dog
Categories
environment sustainability

Are leaf eating machines eating more than leaves?

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article for my local paper’s “Going Green” page. It’s a special edition page, once a month, that features stories about eco-friendly things folks and businesses are doing (or attempting to do) that will help sustain our environment. That’s the premise anyway.

But Something Happened on the Way to Heaven.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term “whitewashing,” it’s used as a metaphor to indicate a cover up or glossing over of some particular wrong doing, scandal, or unethical practice. In some popularized cases you’ll hear of large corporations or companies whitewashing unethical policy, producing biased results from research and whatnot. But there’s another type of glossing over going on in the green industy – greenwashing,  and I think I’m guilty of it.

The article I wrote for the Going Green page is about a community’s leaf collection program that is provided for them free of charge. Neighboring communities are charged a fee for yard waste collection, it’s included in their bill from the company that collects their regular household waste. The folks living in the community with free yard waste and leaf removal  also get free composted leaf mulch to use in their gardens and landscapes. But is it really “free.” You’ve heard it said that if somethings sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Well folks, the old adage still applies: the cost of fuel and manpower for the community’s free leaf and yard waste removal most likely far outweighs any green benefit that might be had.

What is the fuel cost for such a behemoth as this?