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earth day


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We hope everyone enjoys Earth Day. Whether you’re attending an organized event or just taking your daily jog, this is a day to remember that we all have a responsibility to Mother Earth and each other, so let’s be considerate and conscious of what we do.

If you’re looking for info about what’s going on, here’s where you’ll find our round-up of Earth Day 2007 activities and events.

Launching today is a new community, @ urth.tv

Oh and by the way, our good mayor, Mike Bloomberg, is doing his part to make NY City a greener space – New York City Pledges One Million Trees by 2017 – ap/yahoo! news

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gardening with Native Plants and Seeds


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Many of my friends don’t think of me as a gardener. This is probably because, though noisy and vociferous on many topics (don’t get me started on the Red Sox), I am quietly reserved on the topic of gardening. I don’t talk up the milorganite and lady bugs etc., though that being said, I have picked up a couple of things. When my wife and I first purchased our house in the Catskills, the fabulous landscaping was hidden and buried under three feet of snow. When we finally closed and toured the property we found, in addition to our two small ponds and waterfall, a meandering walk-way lined with Mugo pines, blue spruce, rhododendrons, lilacs and junipers. We also discovered a narrow garden about 100′ long that had the look of a bad street in Atlantic City. We quickly set about buying up all the beautiful perennials we could find at local nurseries, which we summarily fed to our resident deer population, who were more than happy to accept our horticultural largess.

So we smartened-up to the desires of deer and started to plant the stuff they didn’t like. We then took it one step further by introducing native plants and deer-resistant perennials, and letting them go to seed, instead of dead-heading them. I used the resulting seeds to spread plants to other areas and divided clumps and transplanted individual plants that didn’t have viable seeds or that connected by roots. This approach has not only saved us a ton of cash but has resulted in gardens that look beautiful, require little care (weeding is still a b*%!h), less fertilizer, and very few worries about deer (woodchucks are another matter).

Going native can also promote biodiversity, water conservation (native plants need a lot less water) and a reduction in fertilizer (I use organic milorganite). Gardening can also be a great source of exercise and relaxation.

Some plants we’ve had success with:
columbine
primrose
lupine
daisy
bee balm
foxglove
cone flower
various grasses both native & non-native
coreopsis
wild indigo
black-eyed susan
various astors
blue bells
wild geranium
cosmos

to be divided/transplanted
flox
lavender
yarrow
decorative grasses
sage (deer hate the smell)
crown vetch (invasive)
obedient plant (invasive)
a good online guide for all things nature enature.com

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