Sunday, April 27, 2008

Plot 94

by Caroline Brown

I’m so excited because over the weekend I was offered a plot in a local community garden. I was waitlisted at three gardens and had pretty much given up hope of getting a plot this late in the game. But it turned out there were some openings at Foxpoint Community Garden, so I showed up this morning, plunked down $25 and claimed Plot 94, the most beautiful 8 ‘ x 4’ -ish patch of dirt that you ever did see.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day, Mother Earth

by Caroline Brown

Oh, mother earth,
With your fields of green
Once more laid down by the hungry hand
How long can you give and not receive
And feed this world ruled by greed

Oh, ball of fire
In the summer sky
Your healing light, your parade of days
Are they betrayed by the men of power
Who hold this world in their changing hands

Oh, freedom land
Can you let this go
Down to the streets where the numbers grow
Respect mother earth and her giving ways
Or trade away our children’s days


  • Mother Earth (Natural Anthem), copyright Neil Young, 1990
  • Image courtesy of NASA.
Sunday, April 20, 2008

Native & invasive ornamental grasses

by Caroline Brown

Landscaping and gardening with ornamental grasses is hot. Ornamental grasses provide home gardens with nesting sites, food, and cover for birds and other animals; pleasing and unusual texture and dimensionality; and garden interest in all four seasons. Some varieties can be used to plant lawns that require less mowing and water.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Global warming legacy???

by Caroline Brown

I’ve been trying not to blog about politics but every now and then I succumb to the odd irresistible headline. Today’s NYT science blog, Dot Earth, headlines with this jewel that nearly made me choke on my tea: “President Appears to Seek a Warming Legacy.” (registration might be required for the NYT.)

Wait, wait….as in GLOBAL warming? Doesn’t he already have a global warming legacy? As the president who approached global warming discussions with hostility and distrust, as the world leader who backed out of the Kyoto Protocol, as the president who forced his government agencies to suppress science supporting climate change, as the president who said in a 2002 speech in Trenton, New Jersey: “We need an energy bill that encourages consumption” ?

THAT global warming legacy? Har har har HAR!!! I guess he’s gotten worried that his “Iraq legacy” isn’t looking so good so he’s going to try to be remembered for a positive “global warming legacy,” if that’s possible with less than a year left in his tenure. God help us all!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

EFG Most Wanted: Queen of the Prairie

by Caroline Brown

There’s something I love about Queen of the Prairie (Filipendula rubra), but I can’t quite put my finger on it. An often wild and unruly-looking member of the Rosaceae (rose) family, the Queen has airy pink sprays reminiscent of cotton candy and ferny-looking leaves. The native North American plant can be found throughout eastern Canada, the northeastern and central US, and as far south as North Carolina and Missouri.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Skunk cabbage

by Caroline Brown

Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is staring to leafing out in wetland areas so I know that spring is really here. Pretty soon, the ground in swampy areas will go from brown to green almost overnight as the skunk cabbage leaves unfurl.

Skunk cabbage leaves are pretty cool–big & wide, deeply veinated–but it’s the blooms that get most of the attention. It’s the first plant to flower in many areas. Skunk cabbage blooms before it leafs, as early as February even in cold areas. Its dark red spathe covers its spadix like a hood, similar to a jack-in-the-pulpit. Continue reading


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