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Don't Miss Pages Two, Three and Four

Monday, October 23, 2006

More About Neem and Helping to Save the Earth
  • In the last issue, I shared some important tips about conserving water, supporting healthy plants and soil. Remember: Mulch, Mulch, Mulch? Well, read page two to discover how a dedicated community of gardeners creates their own compost and mulch.
  • Dorothy Juarez of Ocean View Farms, shares this:  Neem trees which are native to India.were used as shade trees in our gardens. I was often found up in the tree sitting on a cushion lodged between a triple fork branch, reading a book - my escape from household chores. When the boy next door came to visit we would climb into the tree - it was a good place to hide from my mother's eyes. The peasant natives cut a pencil slim, tooth brush size twig, crushed one end of it and used it as a toothbrush.  Neem is very bitter tasting, but a natural antiseptic. We would place the dried leaves in the linen cupboard and between the pages of books for pest control. Seeds, fruit and leaves are all used for medicinal purposes in India.
  • Orna Banarie shares this with us:  I am a relatively new gardener at Ocean View Farms and after being on the wait-list for about a year I got my garden plot in January 2006. I found out about Ocean View Farms from my friend, Christy Wilhelme, who I call my “Garden Guru.” Christy and I went together to TomatoMania where they have over 100 different varieties of heirloom tomato seedlings.  I may have gone a bit overboard as I have eight tomato plants in one of the raised beds.  I did not plant them all at the same time hoping to extend my tomato harvest past the end of summer.   The ones that I planted early on suffered from a bit of blight – Elaine introduced me to a wonderful product – Neem – with one application the blight was healed and has not returned.  The community atmosphere of OVF is really a wonderful experience.  I am often gifted with flowers and produce from fellow gardeners and I in turn offer what I have in abundance to others.
5:53 pm pdt

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Climate Change: The Frontline
Adapting to climate change now or facing a bleak future is imperative when planning today's landscapes. Lawns and herbaceous borders could soon become a thing of the past. No one knows exactly what changes will occur. The fact that there is and will be further climate change is not disputed.
Britain's Environment minister,  Ian Pearson has warned that the drought conditions some gardeners have faced in the U.K. over the last 18 months will become commonplace in future. "This will put gardeners at the frontline of climate change." 
Here in Southern California our native environment has made us acutely aware of pervasive cycles of drought. We expect dry, hot summers! Now, those summers are predicted to be drier and hotter (combined with the increase in smog, this makes wisely planning your landscape and garden essential.)  More and more of my clients want to conserve water and their budgets by planting native and mediterranean plants. The days of the traditional "English Gardens" are over.
However, that doesn't mean saying goodbye to roses. It does mean that landscapes must be planted wisely and with imagination.. Knowing which plants are good companions for sun, shade, and special water needs is essential.
California gardeners have long known that  marigolds, petunias and geraniums (pelargoniums) are colorful alternatives to delicate flowering plants. Other countries think of these plants as "exotic."
Helpful Hints for Changing Conditions:
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch for water conservation.
  • Plant herbs between flowering plants for insect control.
  • Know more about the plants that you are selecting.
  • Plant only grasses that are especially developed for your heat zone.
  • Visit local native plant nurseries and local botanical gardens for ideas and classes.
  • Join a local chapter of a native plant society. 
  • Use your imagination.
12:32 pm pdt

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Changes to this site are made on a regular basis.
All articles and photos unless otherwise credited are© by Elaine Wilson.
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GardensByDesign ®
 Creating beautiful, alternative, sustainable landscapes. Low-water usage plants chosen for hardiness and harmony  with an emphasis on airborne and soil toxin removal .
Custom, portable container gardens with structures that
"move when you move."

If you have a deck, patio or porch you can have a garden that provides a beautiful barrier to the toxins that surround us.


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