Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

Dig a Five-dollar Hole for a Fifty-cent Plant

“It’s better to dig a five-dollar hole for a fifty-cent plant than to dig a fifty-cent hole for a five-dollar plant.” goes the old garden adage and how true that is. A good plant won’t grow in poor soil, but a poor plant will grow in good soil.

Spring means planting and after a long winter, nothing is more exciting than preparing your vegetable garden or potting pansies to liven up your front porch. The key to a healthy and thriving garden is a rich, nutritious soil with the right mix of organic amendments.

What’s the right mix?

Organic amendments vary depending on the need of the soil and the plant. For example, the soil pH may need fixing, or certain plants like roses, azaleas or tomatoes may require specific minerals. Fish, blood or bone meal, charcoal, kelp, humic acids, earthworm castings are great amendments. Or, you can simply supplement your soil with compost, or decomposed organic matter, the most important and beneficial soil amendment. Compost builds soil structure and improves drainage; it helps with water/nutrient retention and air exchange; it introduces beneficial biology; it is vital for healthy roots, and healthy roots produce healthy plants.

Using compost made from your decomposed kitchen waste is gratifying, but if you haven’t started composting yet, you can buy good quality compost from a garden center. There are many different types of compost like manure, worm castings or decomposed leaf and wood litter. All are good, just make sure the compost is 3-year finished.

Digging the Hole

Dig the hole twice the diameter of the root ball of the tree, shrub or plant and then mix the existing soil with the amendments. Don’t plant too deep – “plant it high it won’t die, plant it low, it won’t grow.” With extra soil, make a well around the plant to hold water.

 

It’s easy to just throw the plants in the ground without much thought to the soil, but by taking the time to improve your soil, you will get a higher yield from your vegetables, more blooms on your flowers and a better start for your shrubs or trees. Last year, one heirloom tomato plant produced more than 100 tomatoes in my raised bed garden filled with super soil.

 

So, go play in the dirt with some compost and watch your plants thrive!

 

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

 Information compiled from bostontreepreservation.com.

Green Entrepreneurs – Part 2

Last week I focused on Cape Cod entrepreneurs.  This week I am highlighting off Cape green companies.

Where Clothes – I have to put a plug in for my industrious daughter Amy Wild who runs this earth friendly clothing line.  Each one of a kind piece of clothing is designed, repurposed and constructed by Amy who uses vintage, antique and recycled materials. (Many of her designs feature antique lace.). She also has an adorable line of children’s clothes, accessories and takes custom orders as well.  Amy’s passion for protecting the environment and humanity along with her artistic flair and creativity is what drives her business.   All of these clever and unique upcycled items are available on-line.

photo 2

photo 1

Soluna Garden FarmFrom her one-acre farm in Winchester, MA, Amy Hirschberg sustainably grows herbs and flowers, specializing in unusual herbs like Mexican oregano, lemon verbena, and caraway scented thyme.  She offers CSAs for both the herbs and flowers, all grown without chemical fertilizers, preservatives and pesticides. Soluna Farms participates in several farmers’ markets in the area selling tea, herb and spice blends, nutritional and medicinal tea and power food blends, and interesting salts, all grown with certified organic ingredients from companies with fair business practices.  Now you can find Soluna Farm’s great selection of teas, tea flowers, accessories and other specialty items at their storefront location in Winchester.  You can also get tea by the cup, served of course in compostable cups.  If you are in the Boston area, visit this unique herb, spice and tea emporium or go on-line to purchase most products.

gohspa Beth Gaudette’s green, organic and holistic (hence the name gohspa) day spa and beauty salon is a treat for the skin, the body and the mind.  Beth has been a dedicated green cosmetologist for over two decades, well before it became fashionable.  She sees gohspa as a place to relax with a focus on wellness and healthful beauty.  Services in this warm and inviting green spa include organic manicures and pedicures, holistic facials, makeovers, hair removal, body care treatments and massages. gohspa also offers alternative services like Tui Na, a cross between acupressure and Shiatsu and tuning forks.  I highly recommend the gohAGE-with-grace Facial, a preventative procedure that uses gentle machine assisted rhythmic action to encourage improved lymph flow and the release of toxins, along with carefully chosen organic products.  Your skin will look younger and more radiant! gohspa’s caring and capable technicians assure your spa experience will be exceptional, ultra relaxing and healthy!

With their passion and conscientious approach to all things “green”, these hard-working green entrepreneurs are making a difference.  Email me about the unusual and creative green things entrepreneurs are doing in your area!

Yes, Weddings Can Be Green!

There is nothing quite as special as planning your wedding. Elegant gowns, elaborate flower arrangements, limos, fancy foods and party favors are wonderful, but expensive and create a lot of waste, clearly impacting your carbon footprint.  A green wedding is just as lovely, and perhaps even more unique.  What makes a wedding green?

Choosing an outdoor venue is an obvious start.    A farm, the beach, a botanical garden or arboretum, your family’s back yard are all green options, and even greener if your wedding is during the day when you don’t need electricity.  If you prefer an indoor wedding, choose a green hotel with an environmental mission.

I know evites are super green, but I prefer traditional invitations which can also be eco-friendly.  Paper companies offer some clever, green papers beyond recycled such as paper made from made from cotton, bamboo, grass clippings, even recycled blue jeans, and they are beautiful!   Some papers even have plantable seeds imbedded in them.  Your guests will always remember your special day as they watch a plant grow from the invitation seeds.  Check out these tree free eco-invitations!

Choose locally grown, in season flowers instead of imported ones, which are usually heavily sprayed with chemicals and grown under horrible working conditions.  If there are some exotic flowers you want, make sure they are VeriFlora certified sustainably grown ones.  Potted plants or even edible arrangements make lovely and unusual centerpieces.  

Consider hiring a caterer who specializes in locally grown, seasonal foods.  Local food is fresher, has a much smaller carbon footprint and is more delicious.

Most girls dream of the perfect wedding dress.  A more eco-friendly and economical option to an expensive designer dress worn only once is a vintage or a pre-worn dress. Restructuring a family wedding dress into your style and taste is always a lovely tribute to a family heirloom and definitely a green choice. There are some socially conscious designers who use natural fabrics like silk or cotton.

Being green doesn’t necessarily mean giving anything up – it means being aware and going with a more sustainable alternative.

Information compiled from greenweddings.com

 


VALENTINE’S DAY QUOTE

Image by patrizia-ferri Flickr.com

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”

Charles M. Schulz, “Peanuts” cartoonist

This Valentine’s Day, indulge  ——– in a little chocolate, dark, organic, fair trade chocolate that’s actually good for you and good for the planet!  Click here to read more.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!!♥♥♥