Wednesday, May 28, 2014

North South East and West – Native Plants are Always Best!

I’ve been following the work of the Pollinator Partnership for some time now. They offer an incredible amount of information, over 1000pages but, it’s the quality of their work that blows my mind. If I had to recommend just one thing from this vast resource it would be their Planting Guides – Selecting Plants for Pollinators. They contain everything you need to know about attracting pollinators. Since climate, geography, etc. don’t follow state lines; they’ve taken a more thoughtful and accurate approach and divided the country into ecoregions.  Click on this link to find out what your ecoregion is and to download your FREE guide. The following is a note to welcome you to the Pollinator Partnership from their Executive Director, Laurie Davies Adams. According to her "Planting American Beauties Native Plants is a great way to start helping pollinators!"

Ecoregion Guide
 "Welcome to Pollinator Week!  Bees, butterflies, bats, birds, beetles – all the wonderful pollinating animals that do so much to support our health and well-being through agriculture and ecosystem services are in need of your immediate attention!  Please take a moment to consider all the wonderful benefits we get from this unseen army of workers who bring us the most nutrient rich foods humans need to thrive! 

What can you do?  Plant habitat for pollinators in your garden, farm, school, place of worship, golf course, place of business, Local Park – in fact, every outdoor space can contribute its SHARE to the pollinator cause.  Please visit the nearly 1000 pages of information at the Pollinator Partnership web site to find all the support materials you need.  And if you can, support our work by telling your friends, making a donation or working with youth with our free online curricula or BeeSmart™ School Garden Kit – all will make a “pollinator difference” on the American landscape.  Get out there and plant (both ideas and seedlings) for pollinators. "Planting American Beauties Native Plants is a great way to start!"
Laurie Davies Adams, Executive Director, Pollinator Partnership

Get involved

Supporting Pollinator Week is simple since they have created all the materials you need.

Bringing Life to Your Garden!
Have fun out there, Peggy Anne

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

What Goes Around Comes Around!

Last Saturday there was an article in the New York Times called The Toxic Brew in Our Yards.  It was written by Diane Lewis, a physician, a mom and the founder of the Great Healthy Yard Project. It highlights the enormous amount of chemicals that homeowners use in their gardens and the effect it is having on our health. The Environmental Protection Agency is currently proposing regulations to protect farm workers from exposures to these dangerous pesticides that can cause a wide range of diseases. Even in small amounts these chemicals can lead to ADHD, autism, diabetes and cancer. Here’s the really scary part - homeowners use up to 10 times more chemicals per acre than farmers do  - according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

If some of these chemicals are in our yards they are also on our children, our pets and ourselves! The majority of these pollutants are washed away with rainwater into our streams, lakes and rivers or absorbed into our groundwater. These are the sources of our drinking water and test show these chemicals are in our drinking water. The toxic chemicals you put on your lawn literally come around again and find their way into that glass of water you just drank. Ms. Lewis would like you to take this pledgeI pledge to take care of my yard without synthetic pesticides, weed killers and fertilizers except on rare occasions to resolve an infestation or to improve habitat for native plants and wildlife. I also pledge not to throw pharmaceuticals or chemicals down my drains or toilets.” Their motto is: Our Yards. Our Children. Our Responsibility. 
That makes sense to me!

  •  In an EPA report from March 26, 2013, finds the majority of rivers in this country can’t support healthy aquatic life. The reason for these failing grades is, of course, pollution; specifically phosphorus and nitrogen that come from fertilizer and wastewater run-off.

  • 80 million pounds of pesticides are spread on 30 million acres of lawn each year and that finds it’s way into our groundwater and run off water.

  • Storm water run off is considered one of the main sources of water pollution in our nation. As the water runs off it becomes polluted with things like: motor oil, salt, fertilizer, heavy medals, pesticides, fertilizer and pet waste. Most of the time that water isn’t treated and runs right into our ponds, lakes and rivers.

Memorial weekend is coming up, the unofficial beginning of summer. Our closest friends are coming to visit with their two little ones that we adore. We can’t wait to fly kites, lie in the grass and look up at the clouds, do somersaults and play kick ball. Our lawn isn’t perfect, but it’s clean and safe to play in and gives us fireflies as a reward!

Bringing Life to Your Garden

Have fun out there!
Peggy Anne