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How Do You Celebrate Earth Day? Sustainable Tips & Glamorous Garden Flowers

Truth be told, every day is Earth Day in my world.  How can it not be so?  

I believe that spring gives us that rare opportunity to look at the world with a new vision. We look at our world as if we hadn’t noticed all this humming, blooming life around us. 

Nevertheless, one of the special hallmarks this year was setting out our new Vegepod. We eagerly anticipate that this mini-greenhouse/raised bed will be an exciting element in growing our edibles.

The other good/bad was the leap into summer weather that gave us a head start on spring chores.

Here’s how it all unfolded in time for Earth Week.





Medium Raised Garden Bed with Garden Cover

No, that’s not me and Bill with an imaginary child!  This image is courtesy of Vegepod ~ I wanted you to see the product in full bloom. 

We first saw the Vegepod that we recently purchased at the Philadelphia Flower Show. We reviewed the product benefits and determined it is a good thing for us. 


This is Bill monitoring our premiere misting experience. 

   

And this is the top-down misting in action.  Very cool.



The Vegepod conserves water ~ a very special resource that we needn’t be

using to water lawns and let run into the streets

.image

VegePods benefits and selling points are:

  • Self Watering. “Veggie health is ensured with the self-watering technology by using a wicking system and watering the plants from below. Plants can last weeks without watering.” The wicking system is the best part.  (Just like the Garden Pendant Collection I designed back in 2002 ~ the first self watering hanging planters, I’m proud to brag on 🙂  ~ the Vegepod “uses the capillary action to draw the water up and keep the soil moist. “

  • It’s a raised bed so it’s easier to manage as compared to all that bending over.  Bill especially liked this feature ~ plus the design keeps the critters and pests off the edibles. 

We purchased the trolley stand. But you can also place the product on a table or stand you may already have. 

  • One of the show special’s was that the nice folks at Vegepod offered free shipping, plus included a PVC cover to go over the polyethylene knitted mesh to protect crops from UV and pests. The knitted cover also helps manage temperature by allowing water and air to penetrate. The PVC makes it more of a greenhouse, accelerating plant growth. 

Bill put together the Vegepod in our garage and we moved it out last week.  

We purchased the medium unit, whose size is a bit more than 3 feet by 3 feet with a planting depth of just about a foot; it takes about eight cubic feet of soil. 


What did we plant?

I ordered seeds from Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  

I have used their quality seeds in the past, trust the product, and appreciate their customer service.  Johnny’s is a recommended source. 

I ordered several micro-greens, including a mini Romaine, Mustard Greens, and Sativus (short) carrots to grow in the Vegepod. Critters always seem to just know the more rare and expensive greens so I’m hoping to thwart them this year…

Bill meticulously labels everything in the garden.  I love that! 

The other seeds  ~ squash, eggplant, Chioggia Beets, longer ~ multi-colored, hybrid, Purple Haze carrots, and more, will be planted in our newer, smaller-sized edible “Farmette” with the elegant black fencing ~ growing alongside the garlic that is coming up spectacularly. 


After the garlic is harvested, there’ll be even more room for the tomatoes and other seasonal crops. 

So far, everything is looking great. Just in time for Earth Day.


Spring Garden Clean Up

Given the recent spate of summer-like weather, the other sign of approaching Earth Day was our chance to start an early spring clean up.  Or should I say, clean “away.”  

We learned about clean away in the zoom webinar hosted by the Native Plant Society of New Jersey (NPSNJ),

 The Native Plant Society of New Jersey

the featured speaker, Randi Eckel, PhD Entomology, owner of the much-respected native plant nursery Toadshade Wildflower Farm, and NPSNJ President.  Randi has been in the news lately, quoted on how to properly clean up your garden (and not throw all the pollinators away!) in the Washington Post.

As part of the webinar, she admonished us not to clear away all the winter debris too aggressively because there are beneficial insects breeding in there. Randi wisely recommends we make the case for a somewhat messy spring garden.


I embrace this nod toward a holistic garden design. Just like I say “Leave the leaves” in the autumn, you can “leave” some of the “decomposing duff.”

She said, “By waiting to clean up your garden until daytime temperatures are consistently (my emphasis) above 50 degrees for at least seven consecutive days, and approaching the chore with a light touch, you can keep giving those youngsters a head start on life.”

On our summer-like days, I cleaned out the winter’s spent stalks and duff. We have the luxury of composting au natural ~ relocating over the side of the mountain just beyond our backyard.  This way, the early life stages of our beneficial pollinators can mature and make it to adulthood. 

Here is an example of Mondo Grass before cleanup and after.  Whew! It’s a lot of work but very worth it. I love this plant and how it borders the walk to our grillscape garden. 

     

I have cut back the lily, Joe Pye Weed, and phlox stalks, the lily turf, the first pruning of the Montauk Daisies, the Sea Lavender and more.  Getting ready to plant the dahlias and the ranunculus.

And my robin keeps me company with a watchful eye as I weed and prep the beds.

The Glories of Spring

To truly celebrate Earth Day, I can’t resist sharing some of our spring ephemerals with you.

No explanation needed.  While the blossoms are too early by our norms, I’m setting that sentiment aside (and will lament the miss/match between the pollinators and the plants later.) 

For now, I’m giving myself permission to just sigh and indulge in the heart-clutching beauty of these plants.

   

Just look at these pretty pink ladies:

  

Not to be outdone by these purple princesses:

 

 

 

 

I can’t stop! Oh gosh. The blossoms are so glamorous.  

They nourish our souls and our hearts as much as they do the pollinators.

I won’t kid you ~ it takes good garden design to choose spring bulbs that will bloom sequentially throughout the season, with colors you want, and heights that work best in the garden beds.  But you can do it. It just takes planning ~ or a good garden designer 🙂


Happy Spring. Happy Earth Day.  

4 Comments

  • Garden Glamour

    Thank you so much for your kind remarks and support. The flowers are indeed the most incredible botanical art! I'm thrilled that you delighted in them too. I honestly had to restrain myself from adding more flower photos ~ one image is prettier than the next. They take my breath away with their charming beauty. So beguiling. Thank you.

  • Garden Glamour

    It's my sincere pleasure to share our little bit of Shangra La with you. I always hope that my experience and joy will continue to help others in their garden pursuits (and/or aspirations 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the garden love tour. I appreciate your feedback.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Leeann for this tour of your beautiful garden.

  • Anonymous

    The podcast looks great. I’m sure you will have great success with it. The flowers pictured are beautiful.

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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