Garden Ethics in a Time of Climate Change

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Thought this might be of interest to the philosophers out there. How why, and for whom we garden matters as we lose habitat. http://gardeninggonewild.com/?p=29984

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

This is apropos considering the exceptionally warm winter we've just had:

NOAA Global Analysis -- March 2016

Some of which is due to El Niño, but it's certainly more than that:

"March 2016 also marks the 11th consecutive month a monthly
global temperature record has been broken, the longest such streak in
NOAA's 137 years of record keeping."


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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

Meanwhile, in different parts of the Houzz website, one can still quite easily find climate change denial on a daily basis. Interesting how mankind does not move forward en masse. There's always somebody still believing that the earth is flat. I'll have to review that article later-got a meeting coming up-but just saw where in the last two hundred years, nearly all of the planets wildlife has been killed off. Think that an exaggeration? Just take one animal-the grizzly bear; It used to roam nearly all of western N. America. Now, we think it something to have small, isolated-and therefore inbred populations in just a few scraps of land, like Yellowstone, etc. This is a tiny remnant of what was, and the same holds true for nearly all the species, excepting for those few that adapt well to the human landscape.

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texasranger2

Oh Tom, people just want what they want and they don't like anyone throwing cold water on the status quo, might mean they'd have to change what they are doing, make a sacrifice or feel guilty for not doing the right thing, better to say its just fear mongering. I've notice the most effective way to push agendas across is to label the opposing side as hateful, ridiculous and a grossly obsessed minority.

I saw this show on PBS just this week. They are tagging the bears to study how they travel and creating corridors between the Yellowstone bears and Canada. The show was about how they are dealing with the problem of fragmentation which causes interbreeding and inevitably extinction. Climate change is just one part of the problem, the bigger issue is fragmentation. Then they had one on reestablishing beaver populations and wolves. I'm not one of those people who say its not happening but I definitely fall in the possibly naive category of the hopeful and I get encouraged when I hear of actions like this in a positive direction.

I try to have an ethical little square of land but its hard with all the neighborhood trees. I fight the constant battle and keep the population in check to protect the little sunny area of prairie natives I have down in here in what should be prairie country (duh). Currently I am weeding out tree seedlings by the hundreds but saw quite a few butterflies & other flying insects while I was out there. Hundreds of lady bugs have wiped out the aphid problem I had a month ago. I'm the only house within miles that doesn't have a big looming shade tree (or in most cases, several) in the front & back yard. I should call that my statement of protest----I protest----or maybe I should just join the pack and throw in the towel, grow a normal lawn with normal shrubs and trees for lots of shade and buy a lawnmower. Then maybe I'd be in a better mood and quit gripping.

https://y2y.net/news/updates-from-the-field/wildways-film-corridors-of-life

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WoodsTea 6a MO(6a)

I do have occasional moments where I think about going back to fescue lawn. This time of year, when the weeds are coming in strong after rainy weather, I think about how easy it was to spray the whole lawn with Trimec.

In these moments I try to think ahead and imagine the sight of other people's sprinklers running through the next droughty summer.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

One minor item I've changed is my lawn. So, at the outset, please realize, my lawn is the size of a large postage stamp, so what I do might not work for everyone. That said, I've got one hell of a crop of Glechoma (creeping Charlie, creeping Jenny, son-of-a bitch-plant) and at one time, I would have taken the necessary steps to get rid of it. In fact I used to do this, which consisted of two applications about ten days apart of your basic phenoxy herbicides. I've also got wood violets just cruising in the lawn, quite a few dandelions, and whatever else I'm forgetting just now. The lawn's a mess. Yet I neither spray nor even fertilize these days. It just doesn't matter. In fact, I'm getting so I like it this way. We also have a sort of "bulb lawn" consisting of a legacy planting of the little bulb Siberian squill which BTW has the most intense cobalt-blue flower of any I've ever seen. So there's all kinds of non-Kentucky bluegrass things happening in my lawn, and I've gotten so I don't mind at all. I will literally hand weed a few bullthistle rosettes out when they appear.

But here's the real deal; I would likely still be killing lawn weeds were it not for a very blessed happening within my tribe-the sudden appearance of not one, not two, but three brand-new grand-babies. These kids are going to be playing on our grass, the youngest of them are going to be sticking things from the lawn i n their mouths, and so on. That's the real reason why I stopped with the chemies and fertilizers. And truth be told, since this is an old part of town, with non-stripped-out topsoil, old plant roots growing, living and dying for decade after decade, you really don't have to fertilize the darn thing.

Down on the corner, neighbor who picks and picks at stuff, has every cheesy (in my opinion) add-on to his house's trim, etc. waters and waters that lawn when the summer dry time comes. I used to do some of that but this guy takes it to the nth level. So, you all know where this is going right? When good rains come back, our lawns look identical.

But my real contribution-as I see it anyway-is in all the land we're reforesting (appropriate for up here), the woods we're managing, both up there and at one son's place who also owns some woods, and in my very career path. I have actually spent my entire working life-one way or another-involved in plants, horticulture, biology, and so on. It's what I do, period. But that would have been so regardless the state of the planet...I think.

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texasranger2

Woods Tea, the key word in my rant was 'normal'. I mean, think about it.... thats what's considered normal. What you are doing is abnormal in your surrounding environment. I'd never go back to that. Even worse, they now have these new housing additions with all those rules. We couldn't do what we are doing there and whats worse is, they are wiping off the native landscape to put those housing additions in.

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ZachS. z5 Platteville, Colorado

I am guilty of pampering my lawn... To an extent. If I didn't, the absentee neighbor's field of smooth brome, musk thistle and mullein would be my alternative. Harbouring listed invasives seems a somewhat greater sin to me than a half assed attempt to keep my yard alive so they don't take over. I guess my one saving grace is that every year I remove more lawn and more trees, replacing both with my (highly stylized) version of native prairie.

But in reality, my dream would be to have a native blue grama and buffalograss lawn, why people decided upon KBG in a location that supplies its own alternatives, ones that might actually survive, is a mystery to me. Well, its really not a mystery, but it sure is frustrating.

As for new housing developments, that is my one BIG peeve. All the counties in the Denver metro haveadopted a "develop everything, everywhere" attitude. My own County is toying with the idea of shrinking their open space holdings and developing them. If I have said it once, I've said it a thousand times, homes and businesses equal revenue while maintaining and managing the land equals cost. It's an easy decision for those who don't care to think beyond their own noses. For the rest of us, its infuriating.

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wisconsitom(Zone 4/5)

.....and for those with no conception of ecosystem services.

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docmom_gw(5)

Let's each do all we can to educate everyone around us about the miracle of our natural world, and the crisis we are facing if each of us doesn't make change a priority. If more people were simply willing to speak up when loud-mouths are denying climate change or refusing to do their part for recycling or saving energy, we could at least change the tone of the discussion. Keep up the good work!

Martha

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