Conservation Tip: Don’t Use Salt. There are NO eco-friendly commercial de-icers, no matter what the label says. Avoid those with magnesium chloride (from cyanide) and glycol (antifreeze), which can poison pets and wildlife. Create your own DIY de-icer: Mix 2 parts rubbing alcohol with one part water and spray on sidewalks before a storm.
Horticulture Tip: To shape the stems of Calla lilies for a beautiful winter arrangement, gently bend the stem of each Calla with the constant heat of your hands for a minute or two. This is an age-old Japanese technique!
Conservation Tip: Do not use pesticides! Instead of dowsing your plants with dangerous poisons, let backyard biodiversity naturally nip potential pest problems in the bud. To attract and keep beneficial insects on patrol in your yard, have a constant supply of blooms all season long. Daisy shaped native wildflowers such as oxeye daisies, coneflowers, and asters are champions at attracting beneficial insects to your garden.
Horticulture Tip: The perennial Helleborus is a delightful addition to winter gardens with beautiful white, pink, and chartreuse flowers often blooming through the snow starting in late February and lasting right through late spring. Helleborus should be planted in a shady spot with occasional sunlight.
Conservation Tip: “It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.” Ansel Adams Push back by making your concerns known. Join environmental organizations: NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, Environmental Defense Fund, Ocean Conservancy, Defenders of Wildlife, National Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. They all need your help.
Horticulture Tip: Dry leaves of houseplants should never be broken off. Instead cut stems with sharp scissors, or a knife near, but not too close, to the main stem. Cuts made under gently running water will reduce injury to the plant
Conservation Tip: Plant deciduous trees on the south side of your home for shade in summer and sunlight in winter and native trees to support biodiversity. For instance, a single oak tree supports 536 lepidoptera species (butterflies and moths); a birch - 413; a maple - 285; a beech - 126. These species in turn provide food for birds and become pollinators for other plants. Alternatively, a non-native species, even one that has been cultivated in this country for centuries, may only support one or two insect or avian species.
Horticulture Tip: To encourage pink Hydrangea blossoms, sprinkle lime around the base of the plant
Conservation Tip: Consider installing solar panels or solar hot water in your home. Save money, save energy, contribute to a greener, cleaner community.
Horticulture Tip: When planting tomatoes in your garden, bury some of the lower side-shoot stems to encourage stronger root systems.
Conservation Tip: “If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.” ~ Pete Seeger “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” ~ Dalai Lama
Horticulture Tip: Help your rose bushes thrive with a feeding of one ounce of Epsom Salts mixed into your watering can for each bush, once a month from June through August.