Saturday, January 30, 2010

What a gift...

I'm sitting in my living room by the fire watching the snow fall. It seems like it's been ten years since we've had a storm like this, and I love it! So far we have eight inches in Bahama and it's not even lunchtime! The birds are out in force at the feeders in the wood's edge. To this point we've seen 3 species of sparrow, blue jays, goldfinches, cardinals, towhees, titmice, chickadees, flickers, juncos, mourning doves, and white-breasted nuthatches. They're about to eat through our last bag of sunflower seed. I think I saw some suet here somewhere.... If you're within walking distance of the gardens, visit the two feeding stations in the Blomquist Garden today. Chances are are you'll see birds there you haven't seen in a while, as the shortage of available food drives them to desperate measures (i.e. being seen with Homo sapiens).

If you'd like to learn more about attracting and sustaining a diverse cross-section of wildlife species near your abode without the help of a blizzard, consider attending an upcoming workshop at the gardens. Click here to learn more about "Your Natural Garden", a multiple-day symposium featuring yours truly along with other speakers including Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, an informative work focusing on the importance of insect diversity to the overall health and well-being of ecosystems and urban landscapes. Please join us!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's new?

A few things here. A great symposium is coming up here at the gardens. Toby Hemenway is a sustainable gardening guru of sorts, and has written an excellent book in Gaia's Garden, a study of garden design for all types of spaces that includes edible plants, natural aesthetics and ecological sensitivity with an eye for long term sustainability. Toby will be here at the Duke Gardens from February 12th to the 14th lecturing and leading classes in this elegant landscape design method. To learn more about the symposium, visit this link. I hope to see you there!

Seeing things beginning to poke out of the ground? Our next "Walk on the Wild Side" will focus on what it takes for plants to wake from their winter slumber, what influences the timing of that re-emergence, and how human activity often influences that timing. Join me February 4th at 11:00 at the Blomquist Garden gatehouse. For directions to the gatehouse, visit the information desk at the Doris Duke visitor's center when you arrive at the Gardens. See you then!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hey there,

A few interesting things to talk about. . . A colleague of mine, Paul Jones, sent me an interesting e-mail this morning. It seems the School of the Environment at Duke is hosting an environmental video contest with some decent ($$$) prize money up for grabs. If you like dabbling in the art of amateur film- making, and if you have something you'd like to say about protecting our environment, check out this link, and good luck! I'll be creating an entry, and I look forward to seeing yours!

If you like to read, and you like to eat as well, I have a book to recommend. The End of Food, by Paul Roberts is an interesting look at how our global food economy has evolved, who the power brokers are in this trillion dollar industry, and how the way we eat affects global poverty, the environment, and the sustainability of life on planet earth. As with all the books I mention on this blog, simply click on the title to see a summary of the book on the Regulator Bookshop page. Buy local!

Till next time!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

It's cold!!

The plants are looking less than happy about this weather, and I don't blame them.

Just wanted to make mention of a youtube video I recently uploaded. Johnny Randall from the North Carolina Botanical Garden was gracious enough to step in front of my camera and speak to the problem of invasive plants in our wild landscapes. Take a look by clicking this link. Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

I spent a good bit of my holiday in northern Michigan surrounded by two feet of snow. Word to the wise: Honda Civics do not great snow vehicles make. Lots of time spent by the fire, and a good bit of time spent careening downhill while trying to keep up with my sons and nephew and niece on their snowboards. A reminder- Thursday's "Walk on the Wild Side"(1/7) for January will focus on winter interest planting and design for the native plant garden. Good to be back!